Sacred Texts  Swedenborg  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

Spiritual Diary


EVIL SPIRITS ATTEMPTING TO INFEST ME. When I retired to bed the evil spirits above the head formed a design to destroy me, and for this end took measures for calling out all hell, and every evil and pernicious spirit. They first drew the dragon over to their side, but because he had been evil entreated by them it was given him to extricate himself. They then endeavored to summon all hell, and thus to surround and to attack me in a body, and at length to destroy me, which they had so often in vain attempted before. I seemed to be lifted up among them, as there were many of them above the head, who raised me up by phantasy among them, that I might thus be on all sides beset by them, wherefore the dragon an the filthy Jerusalem appeared far below me, concerning which the dragon complained. I perceived that they wished to act by means of innocent persons, under whose semblance they exhibited those whom they evoked. They evoked David also, who appeared before me in his own face and body, furnished with his implements, but he was immersed in a dense cloud. When they had persisted for some time in those phantasies, perpetrating whatever they were able, while I reposed in safety fearing nothing but reflecting on their efforts, they at length observing their attempts to be fruitless retired and confessed that the project was vain. - 1748, November 4.


CONCERNING NATURAL THINGS. There are spirits who care nothing for natural things, which I was enabled to observe when I wrote anything respecting natural things, as these were despised as being of no value, inasmuch as they regard only spiritual things. I spoke with them at length, [saying] that they served for the confirmation of spiritual things, especially with those who are in corporeals, both men and spirits, and that they perceive nothing abstracted from them, because natural and corporeal things are the planes of their thought, and also that order is terminated in material things, which when some spirits miss, they seem to themselves to have nothing on which to rest, so that they appear to lose their feet, besides other things, which they also acknowledged; for they admitted [my] reasons, although otherwise they seemed to me to adhere to their own reasons, saying it was true that corporeal and the like things did not weigh of themselves, but such was the quality of men and spirits that they were not affected by them only [or in themselves considered], but by confirmations more than by anything else; and because these have more effect with them, and because the diversities are innumerable to which they ought to apply themselves in order to the production of use, therefore it could not be otherwise than that such things should be confirmatory. To this it was added that females both old and young, when they perceive that paradisaical things are given [exist], are more allured to the knowledges of faith than in any other way, and that moreover they are introduced [into these knowledges] through such and similar things as through a portico.


It was therefore granted to them to exhibit flaming fires, first in a dark chimney, at one corner, where there were coals, and upon the coals an obscure lifeless bony something of corresponding character. Those things, they said, signified the light of corporeal or sensual things, which was of this quality. Afterwards the flame seemed more glowing and [to rise] higher, under the sticks of wood, but the sticks were merely blackened without being kindled, by which they said was signified the quality of natural light. There was no other than a yellowish flame, like that which usually arises from [burning] wood, and it was given to say to them, that if the fiery [quality] which was there were wanting to the lighted smoke, the flame would be white; that is to say, if natural things [were wanting], for these are [what correspond to] the lighted fiery smoke which makes the dark hue so yellow; that in such a case it would be inwardly white, and thus spiritual, for the spiritual is signified by a white flame.


Afterwards a woman was seen by them clothed with a short cloak of a greenish yellow color, whose face was drawn within the cloak, and thus removed from sight. They said that natural and corporeal things were represented by such female garments; but it was given to reflect that if spirits and men were at this day to be destitute of clothing, and be seen naked, they would appear most deformed and unsightly, wherefore it is better that they should be clothed. - 1748, November 4.


A CERTAIN ONE WITH ME WHO WAS ASLEEP. There was a certain one sent to me who was in such a sleep, that he cared nothing for the infestations of evil spirits, and it was also given to perceive, that such is the sleep of some, that they believe themselves most secure because guarded by the Lord. This was perceived from his state of sleep and from his sphere. The evil spirits then began their infestations, but they confessed that they could effect nothing. - 1748, November 4.




THAT SPIRITS SUPPOSE THINGS TO BE JUST AS MAN THINKS. While I have been thinking concerning persons, and also concerning places, and that without any distinct reflection that I was anywhere else, and was in thought alone, as when thought is abstracted from the body, then spirits, especially those that are quite remote, know no otherwise than that the very persons are present of whom one thinks and with whom he speaks. So neither do they know otherwise than that they are in the place concerning which one thinks as has been often observed and said to them, and which they cannot deny, as they have more than once confessed that the fact was so; for they are then without reflection of place, and the like, from which they might know that it is mere thought. This is more especially the case the more distant they are. Those that are nearer, are subjects, have reflection like man, as the reflection of place, persons, and other things, without which reflection man could not be in society. Wherefore those who talk to themselves and think abstractly or who speak by thought with all such, spirits do not know otherwise than that the fact is so [or that they really speak]; hence also such persons become indignant, enraged, envious, persecuting, and hostile, solely from the effect of thought, being thus excited by spirits who know do otherwise than that such persons are [actually] present. - 1748, November 4.


CONCERNING A CLASS OF SIRENS. These are those who wish above all things to be in the body, who when I eat, wish to eat, yea, not only to seize [the food], as it were, with the lips, but to carry their hands to their mouth. By these I have been for several days infested, so that in order to obtain the things which I ate, as almond-cakes, pears, and also pigeons, they represented before angelic spirits the things which they signified, wherefore they knew no otherwise than that these things were such as they seemed, as, for instance, that they corresponded with their proper interiors, in which, being thus held, they acquiesced, when yet their craft consisted in this, that they thus represented them in order to possess my body, when at the same time it is utterly forbidden that the function of eating or taste should be exercised by any spirit. - 1748, November 4.


WHO LIE IN WAIT BY NIGHT. There were those who plotted against me by night, whilst I slept. Having awoke, I felt a certain large man behind, who was gently thrust down, and while in the act of detrusion, he continually uttered the sound of a hoarse speech. The spirits wondering whither he would be thrust, he was felt towards the posteriors, and that he would then be cast into a disgusting hell; for to plot against man when he is asleep is abominable, wherefore such draw down punishment upon themselves. - 1748, November 4.


CONCERNING THE GENERAL NATURAL SENSE. 3860-1 Those who constitute the general sense have been previously treated of. Having retired to bed by myself at a late hour, a long continued, soft and gentle kind of thundering sound was heard about the entire region of the occiput, descending from a higher place above the occiput. This was perceived by spirits, but who they were [that made the noise], I know not. They could not speak like others, wherefore it was said to me that they had relation to the general involuntary sense, or of the cerebellum, as those formerly seen had to that of the general voluntary sense. It was said that they could well perceive the thoughts of men, but could not expound or utter them, just as the cerebellum perceives everything that the cerebrum does, but does not publish it, or is unable to think and speak in the way that is peculiar to the cerebrum as distinguished from the cerebellum. It was said concerning these that they could perceive singulars, but as I did not perceive them, nor did they excite my thoughts like the former and others, I could not know otherwise than, according to what was said by others, that they had an exquisite perception of all thoughts, as they now wish to have; for the cerebrum is [comparatively] in a turmoil, but that is in quiet.


When their manifest operation into every province of the occiput, or their thundering murmur, ceased, then [the nature of] their operation was shown, to wit, that it extended itself principally over the outermost things of the body, and was determined first to the whole face; that it then drew itself towards the left part of the face, and finally towards the [left] ear, which operation was felt by the influx, as it were, of a very gentle wind, slightly cool, not however, like the feeling of [ordinary] wind. It thus proceeded from the whole face towards the left part of the face, then to the ear, around which it lingered with more manifest sensation. By this was signified what had been the operation of that general or involuntary sense, from the earliest time, and how it advanced, and that at this day it is seated about the left ear. The general natural influx projects itself forth mainly into the face and into the region of the loins. The other parts [of the body] depend more upon the will, or upon the muscles [acting] through the fibers of the cerebrum, but not so with the face, as appears from the fact that not only does the mind, or the affections of man, appear transcribed on the face, but that the affections and cupidities naturally display themselves in the face, without the will of man, as fear, reverence, shame, the various kinds of joy, concerning which it has been said, that such things, and others when they occur, appear in the human face, as it is well known to everyone, that a man may immediately know from the face what are the changes of the mind; this proceeds from the cerebellum acting through its fibers.


It was also shown that a general sense operates likewise into the province of the loins by their similar external influx, like an afflatus, which pervades the loins, though not the genital members; for the general operation of the cerebellum, besides flowing into the face, acts about the loins, where numerous nerves of the cerebellum center, having reference to the propagation of offspring, which is natural; nor does man then know how all these things apply themselves, for propagation is in all respects exempt from man's voluntary principle. It was said [to me] that the principle cause of the motions of that region was one having reference to propagation, and that a secondary object was, that man might be able to sit down and to move the lower parts of his person, and that for various uses; but it was affirmed that the principle end was that of propagation.


As to what related to the progression of the general natural sense into the face - that it first occupied the whole face, afterwards the left part of the face, and at length the ear only - it is now given me to perceive that formerly when men were, as it were, in a state of integrity, then the natural operation, especially of the cerebellum, was immediately shown in the whole face, as much the changes of their affections or celestial principles, which pertain to the right side of the face, as of their spiritual workings, which belong to the left side of the face. When the affections of good ceased, and were succeeded by vile cupidities only, then the natural operation into the right part of the face receded, and betook itself to the left, into which it, acted from spiritual principles, thus in inverted order, that is, not from celestial promptings to spiritual, or from the right to the left, but from spirituals to celestials, thus from the left; but it is not lawful to proceed from left to right, or from spirituals to celestials, wherefore the right side of the face is guarded by the Lord, that [the influx] may not extend itself thither from the left, which appears from faith, that faith is without the affection of good, to which faith it is not granted to enter into the affections of good, thus into celestial things, on which account it is separated, and at this day faith is scientific, or of the memory, by which men wish to enter heaven, although destitute of any affection of good, or love; for they suppose that provided they have faith they will be saved, when [at the same time] their life may be contrary and [made up] of mere cupidities.


By this influx betaking itself towards the ear is signified that at this day it there subsists, and that it is merely a faith from hearing, hence of the memory. By the whole process in general is signified the inward quality of the man through the natural influxes of the mind [mens] or the mind [animus], hence of the affections, into the extremes [of the body], for when the interiors and exteriors agree, then they manifest themselves in the face, as with the inhabitants of other earths, who speak by the face, so that by the face might be known what are their affections, both celestial and spiritual; causing the face to speak.


It was afterwards shown how, at this day, the case is with influx into faces, which influxes are not natural, but fictitious, and thus simulated as if natural, when yet they are voluntary, assumed, and thus aping the natural; for man from custom contracts the habit, and thence the nature, of simulating good in the face, while he thinks evil, which simulation of face is at this day so common, that there are those who altogether feign their nature, as it were, some more and some less, so that it cannot be known but that one is as his thought is, although as yet there is a residuum of [true] nature with many.


It was shown of what quality they are, at this day, who have relation to the general natural sense. An influx succeeded which was not a sonorous murmur, but a slightly cold influx from those who represent the general natural sense now prevailing, flowing into the whole face, its right region as well as its left. The influx was reciprocal, rapid, vibratory, made up of sharp [and active] forces, and thus influent. It both began and was terminated about the eyes, extending itself as it were from the left eye, and thus into the face.


Of what quality they were was perceived, and in some measure shown, inasmuch as their actings were so outrageous as to amount to mere abominations; since huge dogs, wolves, and foul animals were sent [by them] upon men, but upon the innocent and upon infants, in order to rend them in a merciless manner. These spectacles, which are many in number, were so abominable, that they were but obscurely presented, though still seen as thus ruthless and shocking. They can only be illustrated by the [pitiless] rendings of the Spaniards in America, when they hunted the [savage] nations with dogs, and cruelly mangled them.


Such are they at this day who represent the general natural sense, for now the fibers of the cerebrum have inwrought themselves into the face, and at present perform the functions which belong not to it, but to the cerebellum. It was seen also how foully they live in their habitations, and practice these rendings, as much in a state of waking as of sleep, but it is not permitted to recollect it. It was said that this is practiced in obscure places, as also that they are robbers and thieves, and that such at present constitute the general natural sense; wherefore it is that robbers dwell under the occiput, concerning whom mention has been frequently made before as dwelling there. Where was formerly the domicile of celestials is at this day the abode of the vilest robbers and thieves, who perpetrate deeds of baseness; such are they at this day who represent the general sense of Christians especially, in respect to the face, and because they are pre-eminently adulterous, they make marriage common, especially with those who are in dignity.


THAT THEY ARE PUNISHED ALSO BY THEIR OWN APPROPRIATE IDEAS. There were with me those who had no subjects, but yet endeavored to flow in by the filthiest ideas, wherefore they made their ideas visible with me, which is often done in the other life, viz. [causing] that ideas should be presented visibly, or that by means of phantasies they should be able to exhibit anything as visible in another place, when yet it is in fact nothing more than a phantasy. Wherefore a certain female spirit presented an infant in idea before me, which it was given to perceive as merely the phantasy of something thus made visible. She was brought therefore to her visible infant and was impelled to seize such an object with her mouth, as if it had been a dog, and thus with the dog or [it may be] a mouse, in her mouth, to fly away to the rear, where she was direfully tormented with vomiting, and herself turned into filthiness, by which such things are represented; for that which she plotted was most deceitful.


Another also attempted something similar by phantasies, but something which should represent a man. The object immediately appeared inanimate, and at the same time as a foul woody something. He also was forced to take to himself the phantasy, with which, it being transformed into a bandage, he was enwrapped, and from which he could extricate himself only on penalty of extreme suffering.


I was, moreover, during the whole night infested by a multitude of such and other pernicious spirits, by whom I was surrounded. When the [good] spirits began to despair of my being delivered, they said that I was protected through the whole night by the Lord, for they were most villainous, as now described, both those who dwell under the occiput, and those who represent the general natural sense of the present day, made up as they are of a multitudinous throng of robbers, thieves, and consummate adulterers and adulteresses.


CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF THE LORD. A certain one who during the life of the body, had been distinguished for power, retained in the other life his disposition to domineer, to whom it was said that he was now in another kingdom, and that the authority which he possessed on earth expired and became dead when he himself died, and that now no one was estimated otherwise than according to goodness and truth, and according to the mercy of the Lord, in which he might be; just as on earth no one is estimated except on account of his riches and of his favor with the prince. Thus also in this kingdom, the riches are goodness and truth, and favor with the prince is the mercy of the Lord. If he wished to govern in any other way, he was a rebel, for he was in the kingdom of another. Being thus gently admonished, he now says but little.


It was perceived that as there is such an equilibrium, that evil returns upon him who intends and does evil, so also there is such an order, that whoever proposes to himself good ends, thus who intends and does good, returns to that good so that the good excuse him and turn everything to good, provided his end be good; thus he is rewarded. - 1748, November 4.


CONCERNING A BEAUTIFUL BIRD. - THE INHABITANTS OF MARS. It was shown that a beautiful bird signifies the inhabitants of Mars, with whom I spoke on that day, [and learned] that he who arose through the loins, even to the breast, and tried to persuade [me] that he was the Lord, and took away the bird and presently set him free, are those who think themselves in the knowledges of true faith, for the Lord is in the goods and truths of faith. From these they are persuaded and know that they are in the Lord. They said that they were not in knowledges, but in affections; but it was given to say that [they were] of affections which involve knowledges, as humiliation involves in it that [in itself] it is nothing, but that the Lord is everything. Affection or love towards a wife implies in its own nature that conjugial love is the principal of all loves, for genuine conjugial love implies all knowledges, not only concerning conjugal love, but concerning all other [loves] thence derived in order, thus love towards children, as appears also from the [marriage] institution.


And because with the inhabitants of this earth nearly everything of the nature of conjugial love is obliterated, it can be known especially from birds, that conjugial involves every kind of knowledge, not only as to the mode of conjunction, but also of building nests, laying eggs, brooding over them, extruding the chicks, covering, defending, feeding them, and many other things, thus that all knowledge follows from affection. Wherefore, whoever is in the affection of true faith, is in the knowledges of all things [pertaining to it], but when affection ceases, then knowledges remain to be insinuated through another avenue, viz. through an external one, or through the ear, which appears indeed to the ignorant as if it were the Lord, for by the things said from the knowledges of faith, it is known whether it is the Lord; but because they are knowledges and not affections, they are nothing else than images of the Lord without life, like a bird when turned into an inanimate bird of pearl, which yet flew away, and appeared beautiful, but was still void of life. It was shown to me to the life how knowledges, which do exist from affection are like such lifeless birds of pearl, and what was signified by the fact, that the perception was not that it was from the Lord, but that in each particular it was from themselves, though tacitly; and I even perceived that it was from myself; which state was that of certain inhabitants of Mars who induced their own state [upon me]. In this state I felt that it was from myself in each particular, and thus [I became aware that the impression] was not true [genuinum]. The state, therefore, is that which occurs when affection as the principle of knowledges ceases, and those knowledges yet remain. From perception I then learned also that such is the bird of pearl.


By a tacit speech I spoke with them, [saying], that affections of corresponding character could be infused into the knowledges of true faith; that thought might excite affections; but this holds especially in regard to cupidities which are excited by thought. But when there are affections of true faith, then they are infused by the Lord into the knowledges of true faith and vivified; but they then become like another bird of good quality, but of a darker color. It thence appeared that it signified the inhabitants of Mars, those, namely, who now begin by degree to decline from a state of integrity, as they call it, and yet think themselves to be the Lord; with whom perception no longer remains. - 1748, November 6.


CONCERNING DREAMS. During the night I dreamt, and when I awoke I spoke with two who [appeared] in the dream, who acknowledged that they were the ones; and afterwards with a certain angelic spirit into whom, when in the state of sleep, something was apperceived to flow from the Lord, which he also confessed. It thence appeared that dreams are of a two-fold kind; one flows in from spirits, who act [the part of] the persons that are seen in the dreams, and precisely as the dreaming appearance is; the other kind, of which we have spoken before, consists of things introduced by those who are in front above, and by others, which are usually representations, and though persons are in like manner introduced, yet they are merely representations of them. A third kind is from the Lord mediately or immediately through heaven. - 1748, November 6.


CONCERNING A STATE OF PEACE. There was a certain one above my head, that spoke with me. From the sound I perceived that he who spoke with me was in a state of sleep, and yet as if not in sleep. He inquired respecting this and that altogether like those who are broad awake, and with such prudence that one awake could not have discovered more, so that there was nothing indicating sleep except the sound alone. I perceived that good interior angels spoke through him, and he in that state perceived and produced [what they suggested]. I asked him concerning the state, telling what kind of state he appeared to be in, and that he spoke nothing else but what was good and true, and that he perceived whether there was anything different [from the good and true] which he would not admit or utter; thus that he was in the state of one who was awake; but because in a state of sleep he said that that was a state of peace. His delight thence arising I perceived from the fact of being myself in a similar state of love, for I am free from all solicitude and care respecting the future. Thus they are enabled to render [important] uses. - 1748, November 6.


CONCERNING AN IDEA NOT INTELLIGIBLE; ALSO CONCERNING THE BIRD, AND THE INHABITANTS OF MARS. When I spoke with him who was in the state of peace, concerning whom I now perceive that such have reference to the longitudinal sinus in the brain - for it lies between the two hemispheres of the brain, where it is also in a quiet state, caring nothing how the hemispheres of the brain may be in commotion, for it is wholly intermediate (between them) -


- then there were spirits who insinuated themselves especially towards the front part of the head, so that he was compelled to retire. Although he really remained, yet he retired to one side, that he might give them room, in order that I might perceive who and what they were; he said also that he retired. These spirits acted as a gentle stream, and that for a considerable time, nor did I [distinctly] perceive anything; they undulated very gently, thus speaking among themselves, but neither the spirits that were around me, nor I myself, understood what they said to each other.


From the angels, through spirits, I was instructed that they were the inhabitants of Mars, who so spoke with each other, that no spirit could understand them. They informed me that they have such a speech among themselves that no spirit can understand it, wherefore when they are unwilling that others should perceive what they say, they then discourse together in this manner, and others, when they do not perceive its meaning withdraw. But I wondered that such a speech should be given, for every kind of speech involves ideas, without which I had not supposed that any speech was given. They replied that in that speech ideas were formed in a certain manner, which [however] were unintelligible to others; wherefore they then take care that there shall be nothing of affection [in it]; if there is anything of affection, others would thence immediately perceive its meaning. They spoke therefore from ideas thus formed without affection (:I now perceive that this is a habit which is not good, for to speak without affection is also the bird of pearl; as when there is no affection, there is no life, although there seems to be life, and thus the bird can even fly, for a bird signifies thought, and a bird of pearl thought without affection. I perceive also that the inhabitants of Mars have induced such a speech upon themselves, because they are in thoughts and have receded from affection, in which they were at first, so that they speak alike, that is, from thought, not from affection, which is the bird of pearl:)


I was instructed by them also in the quality of those ideas, namely, that inasmuch as they speak by the lips, that is, by the extremely various folds of the lips, it is thus perfectly well known to them who are in such speech, as they see the diversities of the foldings and forms in the lips, as also their minutest motions, with the appliances of the tongue, particularly its tip, all which, numerous as they are, concur [to the effect], and which cannot be known to the inhabitants of our earth. They have thence [i.e. from the earth and its objects] formed to themselves ideas, and only while they are thinking do they represent such forms, whether simple or more and more compound, (:which may appear from the speech of words, wherein are such simple and variously compounded forms, according to which the tongue, the palate, the nostrils, the lips, accommodate themselves:); but the forms of the inhabitants of Mars are still more subtle, because their speech is that of the lips, and much fuller than the speech of words. There are artificial forms of this kind [which they use] as often as they present their ideas, and then when they speak they exercise the greatest caution lest there should be [in it] any idea of thought, which they try skillfully to remove, so that it might be a mere representation of such things, without any idea of thought, from which others would immediately understand them.


They take care, therefore, that there shall be no manifest idea of thought, which they know how to snatch away from others and thus to secrete. Such a speech was also previously perceived by me as given by means of representations only, namely of the principles of the brain, and their organic forms. I perceived also that I could speak through such [representations], so that others would not understand, and did actually speak with angelic spirits, when other spirits said that they did not understand. But this takes place when ideas are abstracted from forms, consequently it was only occasionally that I was permitted thus to speak; afterwards it was not granted; but when I spoke it was by a speech of representations with ideas, and thus intelligibly to others. The spirits of Mars said that they took precautions also lest there should be any affection present, as other spirits might thence know what they thought or what they said. Hence also it appears that such is the bird of pearl, especially when [the thing] comes into use and habit.


When they thus spoke among themselves it was insinuated into me that I should think concerning shame - whether the spirits of our earth were such that they would be affected with shame, when they infest other spirits. I then became conscious of shame, [thinking] that it would be well that they should not be infested. When I thought this, the spirits of Mars acknowledged that this was what they were speaking of among themselves in their own speech, which they supposed could be understood by no one; wherefore they wondered whence it was that it was detected, to whom it was said that it was even understood by the angels, and thus insinuated into my thought.


Afterwards the spirits of Mars flowed in from a higher place, into my face by a sensible influx like a most thin striated shower, saying that it was in this manner that they speak with the inhabitants of their earth. But it was given to say that this influx was external, and thus that they could not flow into the ideas of the inhabitants. It was, however, given to know that their speech was similar to the former but the former [speech] - that is to say, that they in like manner form to themselves a speech from the variations of the face, which they there ideally represent among themselves, for where there is a particular there is a corresponding general, thus there is a general of that speech.


Whether they thus flow into the inhabitants of [their] earth I do not certainly know. If they do, it is not well, for it is then into the outward face, and not by ideas, which can only happen to those who are in bare knowledges without affection; or whether it is signified that of those who are such that the internals pass into the externals, thus that by externals there is communication with spirits, [I do not know]. - 1748, November 6.


Such speech involves in it that it is not sincere, for those who are sincere wish that whatever they think others should know it, even the universal heaven. But when they are in such a speech they contract the habit of speaking of others, and of judging concerning them, thus preferring themselves to them for such a speech, especially among spirits, involves this. This is said in the presence of those who are such.


They who are in knowledges, and thus withdrawn from affections, so that they lead as from themselves, as was perceived through me, without a perception that should enable them to know whether it is of the Lord, have reference to the interior membrane of the cranium, to which is adjoined the outer pericranium. But when they begin to use such a speech and are delighted with it, they begin to have relation to that membrane of [the same organ] which is turned towards the bones of the cranium, into which [bones] it hardens, for the bones thence derive their existence. The reason of this is, that they thus lose also the life of knowledges, which constitutes the outermost surfaces, for when they are delighted with such ideas formed from themselves, they then begin to speak evil of others, and well of themselves, thus despising others and exalting themselves, which life begins to be cartilaginous, and afterwards bony. When they suppose that no other one can understand their speech, they are at length drawn onwards even to speaking ill of heaven and perhaps of the Lord; thus their celestial life is successively turned into no life.


It was given to compare their speech with the speech of diviners on this earth, who speak with their fingers, or otherwise with the inverted words of those who laugh when they are serious. - 1748, November 6. It was given to add that in order that they may not be understood by others, they abstract the ideas of thought from others, thus imperceptibly from themselves. As to affections, they abstract them also; what then remains, as being external, like that of the words of our earth, in which if there are not ideas, there is nothing of life, it becomes from custom, especially when they begin to be delighted with such speech, such a matter of habit, that they conclude from [mere] forms, and thus have barely external ideas, scarcely such as properly pertain to spirits. Hence arises the bony [quality of the speech], which is indicative of the want of life. This is said to them.


CONCERNING DIPPEL. Dippel spoke with me and I asked him what had been his belief respecting spirits. He said he had believed that the spirit lived indeed after death, but that it lived an obscure kind of life. He observed that he could not believe otherwise, because if life is abstracted from the body, that which should remain would be obscure. He could not well but think thus, inasmuch as he had placed life in the life of the body, though he acknowledged a spirit, of which, however, he had no other idea than of that of a larva. Inasmuch as he then lived in such an obscure life, it was said to him that [the spirit] was in fact in the highest light, in the highest intelligence, in wisdom and in felicity, or in the highest delights arising from the affections of good. - 1748, November 6. He confirmed his opinion while in the life of the body from his seeing that brutes also have life almost like men, and because he acknowledged a spirit as a something superadded to man above the brutes, but still a something which was obscure; his idea did not penetrate more interiorly.


As Dippel was indignant that I should promulgate these things, I spoke with him and asked him who understood the most - he who knows many falsities, or he who knows a little truth? He could not otherwise reply than that he who possessed a little truth [knows the most]. He then wished to reason concerning the Grand Man, that he flows into human bodies; wherefore he was asked how he understood it, that thought, which is spiritual, should move the muscles of the whole face (:and now that it should control all the organs of speech:) and that the will should move the muscles of the whole body, when that is spiritual, and this corporeal; but he knew not what to reply. I spoke moreover concerning endeavor, inquiring whether he knew that endeavor produced acts, and that the active powers return again into endeavor. He said that he did not know this, wherefore he was asked how he could desire to reason when he knew not the rules, as reasoning is in that case merely as scattered dust of no coherence. He could not reply. - 1748, November 6.


CONCERNING LIBERTY. It was perceived and said to a good spirit of Mars, who was with me, that man is left in the enjoyment of his liberty, and if he cannot be reformed while he seems to himself to act in freedom, he could by no means be reformed by miracles, or by that which violently compels and withholds from evil; for that which is not free, or which is compelled, never inseminates a faith which will remain in the other life. It is for this reason that man is left to his own free will, and that his liberty is in no degree taken from him, as far as he knows; but while he remains ignorant that his cupidities are swayed by the Lord, he then supposes himself free; wherefore faith is irradicated in liberty, which is an arcanum. Consequently that is false which many suppose, that the Lord, compels men to good, and withholds them from actuality, thus from liberty. - 1748, November 6.


CONCERNING EVIL SPIRITS. An angelic spirit of Mars, who was with me, when he perceived that so many things were conveyed by evil spirits into my thoughts, from being in more subtle perception, it was given him to perceive to what degree evil spirits flow in, and he wondered that he should perceive from every side the efforts to infuse evil, but because they do not come to my perception, I observe that these effects of evil are from a sphere diffused around - which however the Lord prevents from flowing in - so that I am surrounded by the continual influxes of evils from the spirits about me; wherefore if the Lord did not put forth his protection, not only I, but all the men of the earth, would be liable every single moment to perish. - 1748, November 6.


CONCERNING SPHERES. It was observed, that as when the dung of horses was seen, certain spirits could not endure the sphere thence arising, [from its corresponding to] that of reasonings with the evil, and perhaps as being confirmatory of scientifics with good; so also in other things, as when I ate butter upon bread, then certain spirits, or a society of spirits, were so indignant that they threatened evil to my tongue, saying that they could not endure it, for the reason that butter signifies the celestial, whence arises the sphere of the good which the evil cannot bear; wherefore I ought [they said] for a long time to abstain from butter; likewise that one vessel ["thee"] was more agreeable than another, for the sole reason that they thence contracted a sphere which was less spiritual. So also in regard to many other things which I ate and drank, as milk and the like; from which it appeared that the seen correspondence of the spiritual or celestial sphere should be preserved, which [however] could not be endured. Many similar things occurred, upon which it is not given to reflect. - 1748, November 6.


CONCERNING [CERTAIN] MOST WANTON MAIDENS. Certain female spirits flowed in numbers with a sufficiently pleasant undulation above my head, acting from the forehead upwards towards the middle [of the head], I being ignorant in the meantime what spirits they were. They then appeared nude and of a snowy whiteness, which signified that they were innocent, for those of such appearance are exhibited as innocent; and so also are those who are not innocent, while [yet] they are in such a state as to deem themselves innocent. When other spirits were present, and the fact was observed by them, they at first began to act as with their hands upon the head; presently they turned the body around from the right to the left, and from the left to the right like a cylinder; then they rolled themselves about horizontally, as is usual in the St. Vitus' Dance; which signified that they wished to exhibit themselves as innocent before the eyes of those who were present, and thus to withdraw themselves from their sight; for it is their ideas which are thus represented, inasmuch as they would fain present themselves to the view of others as altogether innocent. But when they continued to be infested by other spirits, they then suddenly withdrew from their company, by means of their accustomed bodily projections, and thus extricated themselves from their society; and when such [infesting] spirits pressed on more and more, they inverted themselves, with their feet upwards and their heads downwards, and thus effected their liberation from their presence.


They removed themselves to the rear, saying they neither had had nor wished to have anything to do with men, but that they had lived among themselves without men. But a class of spirits were present who had been such during their lives that they burned with an intense passion for those whom they esteemed innocent, such as chaste virgins, and those who dwell in monasteries; and the ardor of their passion was then perceived, which was greater than that of others, so that when they only heard that they were innocent, they became inflamed, for they are such as are liable to be greatly excited by the mere mention of [female] innocence, as such are more eagerly sought by men than others, which is the cause also that such [wanton ones] feign themselves innocent that they may be prized above others.


They were at the same time in the rear, seeking a place where they might be alone by themselves, receding at length to the bounds of the universe; but it was observed that they were higher above in the rear, where I had previously noticed nothing. When they came to the bounds of the universe from behind, they then spoke with each other [saying], that there were no men present and that they might begin; but their obscenities were not shown me, except that there was a woman apparelled like a man. There they were delighting themselves in abominable lewdness.


There appeared to me a pantry where were apples, citrons, and the like, which were then their delights; afterwards [were seen] large glass goblets full of wine with sugar, by which was shown that they would then delight themselves with such luxuries.


What they afterwards became it was given to me to know, viz., that being captivated with such base delight they care nothing for, but loathe, the men, and thus all natural modes of connection, whence also they loathe and nauseate matrimonies, which if the enter to they are moved by no pleasure, and thus conjugial love is lost with them and turned to loathing, wherefore they can rarely have offspring, and if they have, they do not love them, for this follows from the destruction of conjugial love. [They love] only their vile cupidities which soothe and occupy the mind with a foul delight many of them become the vilest prostitutes, and they are then viler than all others, for they care nothing for decency or any external bond, all shame with them being put away; wherefore as they are prompted by no other than such a kind of stimulus, they have lost all that is otherwise pleasurable in sexual intercourse. That such is the fact was [clearly] perceived.


What they at length become in the other life was also shown. They appear as bony skeletons, -so entirely bony, especially as to the cranium and ribs, that nothing whatever of flesh appears. It was said that they thus lose everything vital. What becomes of them afterwards I do not know; I can, however, conjecture that they become spirits almost totally void of sense, subserving such uses as have been before spoken of. - 1748, November 7. As to the quality of their influx, it was perceived that they cause a pain to the os pubis, which is the bone in front of the pelvis, which was shown; for they are bony. - 1748, November 7.


3856-1 They represented to me a kind of semblance of those who care nothing for natural, still less for corporeal, things, but only for spiritual things, and in whom spiritual things [wholly predominate], to wit, a beautiful naked woman, whose side only was turned towards me, so that the shoulder and part of the arm was seen and who was becomingly adorned as to her hair. It was insinuated that such are they who are delighted solely with spiritual things apart from naturals. - 1748. November 4.

3860-1 The subject of this section will be found largely discussed in AC 4325, 4329, and its obscurities cleared up.

Next: 3901-3950