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


Other spirits also suppose themselves to be men, as was often proved by my experience, but with great difference. It is impressed upon these that they are to be subservient to man, but when reflection is granted them they know that they are spirits, which was in many ways evinced and conversed about with them.


But those first mentioned are altogether of a different character; they persuade themselves fully of the fact; wherefore such are not allowed to be with man, as they would obsess him, for they obsess and possess everything with their pertinacious conceit that they are particular persons, and can with difficulty be separated from them. - 1749, June 7.


CONCERNING PALACES IN THE OTHER LIFE. A certain spirit doubted whether palaces existed in the other life, in which the upright dwelt, wherefore they were shown to him to the life, and he entered in, and saw everything, and then said that it was even so, that he perceived with all fullness of sense, that the fact was no otherwise. He had been previously assured that the edifices which were in the world, and which only were supposed to be possible, were comparatively vile, and that if one is good he may dwell, with all variety, in palaces which for magnificence and harmony exceed, to the view of every sense, all the architectural art in the world, and this I know to be true, as I have often seen them. - 1749, June 7.


CONCERNING THE PROGRESSION OF SIRENS. Upon awaking there were Sirens around me who flowed into the will, at which I was surprised, not being able to account for it, inasmuch as some supposed that the Lord's influx alone was nothing else than a strongly possessing and governing power, but it was shown them how great is the difference. When this was done the sirens proceeded in a mass or volume [volumatim] to others and flowed into them, and it was given to observe their influx, how their aim was thereby to subjugate and domineer over others. In the meantime, I spoke both with them and with others concerning them and their quality; wherever they came they insinuated themselves into all kinds of actions, pretending that they were of the same, and thus prompting to indulgence in order that they might be received. Proceeding thus from one place to another and every where acting in the same manner, they might be likened to flies which appear outwardly beautifully gilded, but which frequent sinks and filthy places, so defiled are they inwardly; they were intent upon nothing else then gaining dominion, at all hazards, especially by putting on the semblance of uprightness with the good, taking souls captive, and when they have done this leading them wherever they will, and thus into things disgraceful and vile. - 1749, June 8.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO THINK THAT ALL THINGS ARE PHANTASIES. There was a certain one who seemed as if busied in grinding meal, and having a number of small mirrors at his side. Wondering what this meant, I thought it might be one of the class of magicians; but I afterwards saw several things of an aerial kind which were produced from phantasy. He subsequently came to me and said that he was the person who was occupied in grinding, and that he had the idea that all and singular things whatever were mere phantasies; thus, that nothing real existed. Hence the character he had acquired. - 1749, June 8.


CONCERNING SIRENS. I perceived and felt that sirens could penetrate to the first place of innocence, where are the guardians of infants. Wherefore I was conducted thither through several mansions on the way, and was accompanied by sirens at my head, who were of such a quality that they could be turned thither, but who were continually thinking how they might succeed in learning some new magical trick to practice wherever they came. It was hence observed how dangerous such creatures are. - 1749, June 11.


These sirens can never be described as to the arts which they catch at [arripiunt] in the other life. Whatever they see and hear, they lay hold of for the purpose of exercising magic, and of ruling and retaining everything in memory; they consult, they ply their arts, and they know in a moment how to turn them to account. Spirits wondered that such beings should exist; they are malignant in the highest degree, void of conscience, most obscene, and, knowing where societies are to be found, they reconnoiter, explore, and by entering into their affections work upon every individual in ways adapted to their ends; wherefore they are often chastised and punished, when they will [temporarily] abstain, but they still return [to their machinations]. They have been with me for weeks, and caused me a vast deal of trouble.


THE REASON OF PUNISHMENT, AND THAT SPIRITS ARE HELD IN CORPOREAL THINGS. I have often wondered that souls and spirits should be punished, and sometimes severely, when yet they seem to speak well, especially if held in their ultimate state, i. e., the state in which external bonds bear sway, and when retained the state in which they were when they preached and persuaded others. So long as they are kept in this state, they know and confess sound doctrinals and the truths of faith; and yet they are punished. But the reason is that their interiors do not correspond; while abiding in externals they think themselves upright, but as soon as those externals - namely, bonds and the persuasives of speech and science - are removed, then their interiors are immediately laid open, and shown to be contrary, wherefore they are punished. It was given also to know the cause, to wit, that this external is, as it were, nothing. Many spirits transfer themselves into a subtler sphere, as the sirens, by means of their art, and others also, whither when they come, their interiors are what operate. Unless a soul or spirit is amended before he comes thither, his evil is then continued, and a long time is required before the amendment takes place; wherefore it is not permitted to spirits who are being vastated to come into that other sphere before the vastation is accomplished, or they are amended by punishments. Very many of the infernals are in that sphere. - 1749, June 17.


CONCERNING SIMULATION, OR THOSE WHO SAY ONE THING AND THINK ANOTHER. It was shown me of what quality they appear who speak otherwise than they think, or who have preached the good and truths of faith, and yet, from their lives being contrary, have thought the reverse. A certain one of this character was raised up somewhat on high, and made to circumrotate, when there appeared darts verging from all sides towards him. From this it was made known what his true character was, for darts appear falling upon the head of those who speak differently from what they think, especially those who speak thus in a flattering, wheedling way. - 1749, June 17.


A certain one expressed surprise that when the discourse held with others concerning faith [for instance] was so unexceptionable, so severe punishment should nevertheless ensue; but it was replied to him by good spirits that in the other life no regard is had to what anyone says, but to what he thinks. It is thought alone which is attended to in the other life, so that the difference between the life in the world, and the life after death, is, that there speech weighs, but here thought. There is here [with spirits] a cogitative speech which is perceived, and which affects those that are present, and that too the more when principles of the false hinder others from thinking freely concerning goods and truths. - 1749, June 17.


CONCERNING AFFECTIONS NOT INSTRUCTED, AND CONCERNING INTELLECTUALS NOT INSTRUCTED. There are spirits in the other life who are affected by good and holy things, and who yet lack a discriminating intellect, so that, provided a thing is good, they do not consider the motive, nor any of its attendant circumstances. They are such as do not suffer themselves to be illustrated, and therefore want judgment; they are carried over to the side of the deceitful, of sirens, and of hypocrites, who can feign the good, the true, and the holy, and thus favor them. Some of them are such as are capable of being informed, though but slowly; these sometimes add to the power of the deceitful. It was hence manifest what affection is without intellect, viz., that unless a man is instructed as to his intellectual part, though he may be endowed with natural goodness, or has been imbued with good from his infancy, that affection is blind and easily seduced.


Some also are intellectually such, that they seize anything as true which is true in general, and inhere in it, without application to circumstances, as those [for instance] who assume that the good are led into temptations that they may be made better, and from that principle favor temptations; others otherwise. These are also captivated, and led by sirens and the deceitful, because weak in intellect. - 1749, June 18. These also, as well as the former, are not led by charity and innocence, except so far as they are [mere general] principles.


CONCERNING THE MEMORY OF SPIRITS. I heard a certain spirit speak with another. I was acquainted with both in the life of the body. He described the genius and character of the other, and what opinion he had of him, and then [recited] a letter which he had written, and many other things in a series. The other acknowledged the whole and was silent. Hence it may manifestly appear that spirits have a memory of material things [particularium], but it is not allowed them to draw upon it, except when the Lord permits. - 1749, June 25. He then said that he knew a good many other particulars, and was desirous to produce them, but he was not permitted.


CONCERNING THE STATE OF FEAR. There was a spirit who wished to frighten infants that were seen. He was concealed with me at the lower quarter behind, but he was manifested by a knife which he put into the hand of another, by whom however it was rejected, and thus fell back into his own, in consequence of which he was disclosed. He then began to supplicate with the greatest earnestness, for he was one who wished to appear good in the other life. He made use of such humble terms that the spirits could scarcely believe that he was any other than he seemed to be. Conversation was then had on the state of fear, in which it was said that when such persons are in a state of fear, it cannot be known but that they are good, or can become good. The spirit in this case would fain have been suppliant towards the Lord, and said he was willing to dwell in the lowest hell, and that he knew that he deserved it; but it was all the effect of fear; being inspected by the angels, they said that he was infernal, wherefore he was cast down thither. - 1749, June 25.


CONCERNING COMEDIANS IN THE OTHER LIFE. Conversing with comedians in the other life, I found that they were such as could simulate everything or seize upon and represent it in such a dexterous manner, that it could scarcely be distinguished from the original. For this reason they serve societies as mediums of lively representation. They were not evil, nor were they easily excited to anger. When anyone inveighed against them, they seemed to take no notice of it at the time, though they spoke of it afterwards. They can be led both by the evil and the good. They represent the teeth, which was also shown by their being made to appear as injured and aching teeth. Although they speak tolerably well, yet they have but little life of their own. - 1749, June 27.


CONCERNING SPEECH. There was an evil spirit, who, when he said anything good, could only do it in so low a voice, that it scarcely seemed to be speaking at all. The cause was stated to me, viz., that he thought concerning good, and said that he wished to be good, but because such was not his quality, he could not speak distinctly. When one thinks concerning anything that does not agree with his nature, he has not the power of clear utterance. If he speaks at all it is as if he were absent, or at a distance, and the angels perceive just how far distant. Wherefore speech is of the mind or nature; but if they do not think, then they can speak so as to be plainly heard; in that case, however, it is not from the heart or the nature, but only from the mouth. - 1749, July 1.


CONCERNING THE PULSATION OF THE HEART. It was given me to perceive the pulsation of the heart of heaven in general. It was heavy, somewhat slower than mine, and attended with rather a deep sound. It was said that I was then in the pulsation of the heart of heaven, and I perceived that I was among infants. This pulsation was in the midst of the heart. It was afterwards given to perceive the pulsation of the heart of the heaven of angelic spirits, which was anterior above the navel; the vibrations were more rapid. - 1749, July 2.


THAT THE FACULTIES EVEN OF EVIL SPIRITS ARE OF A SUPERIOR ORDER. Speaking with spirits it was said, that although they are more insane than men, yet that they are possessed of more excellent faculties than men. It was said that it was for that very reason that they are more insane than men, and could be more deceitful and malignant in proportion as a spirit excels a man; and this was confirmed by examples, and also by the fact that they immediately perceive the thought of man, and immediately pervert it, which is the property of a superior faculty. Their speech also is the cogitative principle of men, although malignant, and they are such as they were in thought, though still more acute. But as man is governed by external bonds, his real thought does not appear, nor can he be so insane; wherefore these [evil spirits] are, so to speak, more excellent insanities. - 1749, July 3.


CONCERNING INFLUX. There is this that is wonderful about influx, that some who flow in appear as remote, and then other spirits, who are more or less remote, speak. I have been in society with such more or less nearly, and it was observed that this [nearness] is according to the affections of man which constitute his life; that the more anyone has of life, the nearer they are, and the less the more remote; and that the nearer they are, the more they are appropriated to man, and make his life, but the more remote, the less they do this. Those who are in faith, in the Lord, and in charity, the Lord disposes in such a way that they shall be nearer or more remote according to his good pleasure, and thus a new life is effected. Whatever is more remote does not inhere, but is easily dissolved; the case is different with what is near. - 1749, July 3.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN KIND OF PERSUASIONS AND OF SIMULATION. There was a spirit known to me in the life of the body who was persuaded that he could remove himself; he said with a strong affirmation that he willed to do it, and he seemed to labor to effect it as by a kind of combat, but still he was removed [by others], and the number of unclean spirits viler than the rest was augmented. At length when he would introduce himself into good, or into a society of good angels he was detected, and appeared as almost wholly covered with hair. As he was unable to live in that sphere he was cast down, and then he was disclosed as being of such a quality that his intellectual part willed, but not the voluntary, nay, that his intellectual part was, as it were, persuaded but not his voluntary, having been accustomed in his bodily life to say one thing, even with asseveration, when he willed another, so that his intellectual principle would almost put on a certain voluntary persuasion. Such spirits fare very meanly in the other life, for there it is not permitted to simulate, but everyone thinks as he wills, and does as he thinks. - 1749, July 7.


CONCERNING PAUL. He was for a long time in front a little to the right, and it was shown him that he might attain to happiness, but whenever the opportunity was granted he continually spoke against the truths of faith. At length a certain spirit was detected in a higher place, who said to he led him. He spoke with abundant confidence as one that directed him and everything that pertained to him, profess in himself to be, as it were, a god, and breathing forth a sphere like the Lord; but he was a certain devil who imagined himself to be the very devil that deceived Adam and Eve according to the common opinion. He was sent into hell, into caverns, where he wandered about till [he came directly] under my feet, and there spoke. From thence he by and by ascended, veiled in a cloud, which, however, was his phantasy. It was then given me to hear Paul speaking with him and saying that he wished to be his companion, and that they would go together and make themselves gods. Wherefore being associated they went in company to a considerable distance in front and would fain have deceived those that were there; but they were rejected wherever they came. Having been moreover infested during my sleep by adulterers, these two when they perceived it lent their aid to the infesters, and so stubbornly held me in that vile train of thought that I could scarcely release myself. These adulterers or adulteresses were punished by the bruising process [gnuggismus] or reciprocal collisions, which is their [appropriate] punishment; and because those two were concerned in it, they also painfully underwent the same punishment. Hence it was made known to all that Paul is of such a nefarious character, and that it was only from certain causes that he was hitherto exempted [from the proper penalty], for the base suffer punishment for baseness, concerning which I also conversed with him; and he is now among those companies which rove about, and approximate the place of the desert. - 1749, July 10.


THAT NO ONE BECOMES GOOD WITHOUT MEANS, OR IN A MIRACULOUS MANNER. I conversed with a certain spirit (:it was Paul:) affirming that no one could become good miraculously. Some wondered that they could not be taken immediately into heaven, and be reduced by the Lord's omnipotence into a state in which they could become angels. But it was answered that evil cannot be made to be good, nor can anyone come thither before his evil is dissipated or subdued, and that this is effected only by foreseen divine means, and not miraculously. It was said also that if evil were taken away [from the evil] there would be but little of life remaining, and that this would be to work miraculously, though it may be done in the other life by the removal of societies. As he thought in this manner, the societies were removed, and he was then as an infant sprawling with its hands and it was said that he neither knew how to speak or to think, but only to move his arms as a new-born babe. Thus would it be with the evil if they sought to be miraculously made good. - 1749, July 10.


CONCERNING THE DEVIL HIMSELF, FROM THE END [PROPOSED]. There was a certain one who thought himself to be the devil that seduced Adam and Eve, and to whom Paul adjoined himself. He appeared like another spirit, not speaking badly, as if he were a man, but still in a kind of obscurity. I wondered at his quality, as a sense of hatreds, revenges, cruelties, and adulteries was not perceived from him as from others; but I was instructed that he cared not for such things, but had in view only the end of destroying good and truth, so that nothing else entered into his intention. Ends are what judge a man, and because of those this class are prompted by such ends they are very devils, for they deeply conceal their aims, and act from the detestable prompting above mentioned, regardless of the means whether profane or holy. - 1749, July 12.


CONCERNING THE END AND THE LIFE OF SPIRITS THENCE [AND CONCERNING] MEMORY. It is not permitted to spirits to be such towards each other as they were in their social relations in the body, namely in externals, as, for instance, in well-seeming but fictitious externals, for all externals are abolished in the other life, as also actions merely external, whether good or evil, so that nothing there acts from externals, as in the world, but the quality of each one's thought and affection [is then discovered] from internals, thus from the end and the love, and by this is their conversation and interaction with each other governed. They are sometimes remitted into externals, but only for a short time, and then they speak otherwise than as they think, and act otherwise than as they will, as is the case with many preachers; but as soon as their externals are taken away they are no more known; they become different persons; and their ends and loves are laid open. Thus all their [external] acts are abolished. Some say, while in externals, that they have never injured anyone, that they have been upright, that they have preached, that they have done many good things for the Church; but when these external semblances are removed, the quality of their ends and the quality of their loves is laid open, and some are found to be such as to have done evil from ignorance with a good end; these are of the better sort. For the same reason, neither is the memory of material things granted. - 1749, July 14.


THAT IN THE OTHER LIFE THERE ARE NO SUCH EXTERNAL THINGS AS THERE WERE IN THE BODY, BUT OF INTERNAL THINGS THERE ARE. I conversed with spirits respecting the external things pertaining to man during his life in the body, that they all have respect to human society, to wit, functions and honors, riches, houses, clothing, subsistence for themselves and theirs, and distinction on these accounts. These are the ends of external life in the world. But in the other life they do not think of honors, riches, houses, clothing, or food; wherefore they have no need of those external things that minister to decorum and respectability, and of various other things, which men are prone to affect. Externals ought to cease with the cessation of such uses, wherefore a man, when he comes into the other life, is separated from them, especially because they are assumed and disagree with internals. He is therefore left to his internals such as distinguished him during his life-time, and in which his life must be supposed to have consisted. Spirits however are indignant that it is not permitted them to live in external show, while they remained in which they appeared respectable not withstanding they were interiorly in evil, which was the case with some preachers, who said they had preached, instructed, and done good, while they were in externals. They thus spoke well, as they did while in the world, by applying the things of the Word, but as soon as they were remitted into internals they were seen to be diabolical, for then their former ends appeared, which were of self-honor, wealth, hatreds and malignities, and the like. It is wonderful that they do not know this while they are in such externals, for their thoughts are engrossed by them; but it is all laid open when their externals are removed. - 1749, July 16.


CONCERNING PUNISHMENTS. The punishments of reverberation and collision I have witnessed oftener than I can relate, and sometimes for hours together. They were a long time under the left foot verging to the right, and, what is wonderful, all who were guilty were discovered; those that were not guilty, although summoned and in the midst of the punishment, were unaffected by it; but as far as they have been accomplices or in similar fault, so far they are punished, which I know from the experience granted me.


There was moreover a certain new species of punishment by a kind of circumrotation of a number, in which there was a confusion, as it were, of several together, and which they declared to be very severe. This was a punishment designed especially for sirens, and which they found it impossible to escape. - 1749, July 19.


These punishments are inflicted thus: he who is to undergo them is held, as far as possible, by his partners in a similar cupidity, and explored as to the degree in which he persists in it, and as to the degree in which he recedes in consequence of the punishment; nor is he discharged from the punishment until he recedes and becomes better. As far as this appears, which is determined by an exquisite exploration, the punishment is relaxed. Some contumaciously persist, but they are not discharged till they become better. The intensity and the relaxation of the punishment is proportioned to the contumacy and quality of the man.


There are some who were of high eminence in the world who undergo these punishments, and that very frequently, till they at length, after many tortures, contract fears and horrors which being recalled they abstain; this is effected by the punishments. But these are external bonds; internal bonds are those of conscience, by which they cannot be tormented, because they have no conscience. - 1749, July 19.


CONCERNING THE GENTILE NATIONS. I spoke with certain people who were Gentiles, and who had now become wise, as they were able to perceive the interiors of thought and other things more fully than any Christians of modern days; the difference was almost that between a man and a spirit. From a single idea of thought they knew the whole series which was filled with things that constitute the delights of wisdom. They were delighted with the Word, from its contents being all and singular representative and significative, inasmuch as their own mode of thought, while they lived was similar, though Christian spirits were both surprised and indignant at the fact. I held discourse with them which was altogether of this style. They appeared at some distance in front. Some also were near me, and a pleasantness was perceived in their sphere, arising from this quality of the Word, namely, from its being significative, and from the words being nothing else than the subjects of significatives. - 1749, July 20.


CONCERNING THE WORD AND THE JEWS. There were Jews present with me, and they perceived not an internal sense in the Word, for they are disposed to remain in the sense of the letter, that they may arrogantly apply everything to themselves. But I heard them conversing with each other in a way which showed that they knew not what the real internal is, while yet they professed to know that there were certain profound, and most profound, arcana couched under every word and tittle; but that this internal sense is such as it is, or that it is celestial, they did not admit, but denied, for they hold that in every particular it treats of them, and thus that they alone are the elect. - 1749, July 21.


CONCERNING THE JEWS AND GABRIEL. It was asked of certain Jews what they believed respecting Gabriel? They replied that he was a great angel. It was then proposed to them that they should inquire of others where Gabriel was. They did so, and obtained for answer that they knew nothing about it themselves, but they were informed that by Gabriel, and by other angels mentioned by name, are understood functions, and thus that the name Gabriel may be given to innumerable individuals, provided they are in that function. In this they acquiesced. - 1749, July 21.


CONCERNING SUBJECTS, THOUGHT, AND SPEECH. I have many times observed that with me only there is a certain disposition of the organs of thought, and that according to that disposition spirits speak. They said also that the case was very similar in regard to subjects; that they themselves barely thought, and the subject would then speak according to the thought, but still from a certain prompting to speak, which, however, is not open. - 1749, July 25.


THAT EVIL SPIRITS ARE INSANE, AND THAT THEY STRIVE WITH ALL THEIR MIGHT TO LEAD OTHERS TO THEIR OWN HELL, AND THUS TO TORMENT THEM. I spoke with evil spirits who continually infested me, and who infest men and upright spirits in like manner; and because they are insane themselves they would fain strive to make all others infernal also, by leading them away from good and mutual love into the love of self, thus into hatreds towards all; and the more they are who are wrought upon in this way, the greater is the number of those who torment them; so that they are continually procuring hell to themselves. If they would refrain from this, and act from the love of the upright and the good, they would secure blessedness to themselves; for the good desire nothing more than to impart to others, and thus to them also, all their own happiness. Doing this, they would procure heaven to themselves. This they, in their then state, acknowledged, and said that the fact was so; yet they are such as they are because their nature is such; everyone thinks himself able to rule, and yet they rush upon each other, and nothing affords them greater pleasure than to torment others, even their nearest friends. - 1749, July 27.


THE MEMORY OF SPIRITS. Spirits speak among themselves from no other than the internal memory, which is their rational while they live in the body; but man, while in the world, speaks from the memory of the body. Hence it is that spirits can speak with each other, and that all souls from whatever earth, region and language can dwell and converse together. This speech is what falls into the speech of words with me; it is something not dissimilar to the rational with man from which he thinks. This falls in like manner into words, for when one thinks his thought falls spontaneously into the speech of words. - 1749, July 30.


CONCERNING REPRESENTATIVES AND CORRESPONDENCES. ADULTERIES. In an interior sphere, and also with those who are on the threshold of another heaven, when they converse with each other - the one from fallacies, the other from appearances - against the truths and goods of faith and charity, their speech, in passing into the world of spirits produces a lascivious and adulterous sphere, to which the evil are attracted, as ravens to a carcass, and fill this sphere with such lewdness and adultery and every kind of obscenity, that no good spirit but shrinks from it with shuddering. Hence in the Word the falsifications and perversions of goodness and truth are expressed by whoredoms and adulteries, and are so called; whence it appears that there is an actual correspondence between the one and the other. - 1749, July 30.


CONCERNING THE SPIRITS WHO ARE WITH MAN. Being remitted into a proper state it was shown me, by lively experience, how the case is with the spirits that are with man. They know no otherwise than that they are the man himself, as was abundantly evinced from my experience in regard to the spirits which were with me. Consequently they think no otherwise than the man thinks; but there is thence a sphere of thought and affection, which was shown me, and in which other spirits are. While in this sphere they speak and are affected variously according to their own state and the nature of the sphere; wherefore such spirits flock about a man according to his quality and remain in his sphere, making it more intense or changing it, and exciting it with the man by correspondence. This is done by the spirits that are with the man; for man cannot live without spirits adjoined to him who would fain be men themselves. Such as the sphere is, such are the spirits, whence it appears what kind of spirits are with those who think of nothing else and are affected by nothing else than cupidities, hatreds, and revenges. Where the carcass is, there the ravens are. - 1749, July 30.


THAT THE LORD IS THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. On reading the Athanasian Creed in the presence of spirits, of the learned, and of angels, I found that no one could comprehend anything of it, and that even the learned did not remember what it contained. They knew indeed that they had read it, but they retained in memory nothing more than that they had said that there were three persons but one [God]. When it was presented to their idea what they thought of the question, whether the three [persons] are from eternity, or whether there were three eternals and increates, or one, even the learned had no other idea than that there were three eternals, which is contrary to the Creed of Athanasius. When their minds were turned to the question whether there was one Lord from eternity, or three, they could not otherwise conceive than that there were three Lords, and this again was contrary to the Creed. They then confessed that they had not believed according to the Creed, as they could have no other idea than of three; whence it is evident that no one [of this class] can think otherwise than of three, however, he may say there is one God. - 1749, August 1.


CONCERNING PHANTASIES. It is wonderful that the phantasies of evil spirits should appear as altogether real, as, for instance, while they think themselves invested with garments, with hair, and the like, yea, with a multitude of similar things. Indeed I observed that when the conversation turned upon their having garments they touched them and saw them and said that they were real; though they still can be taken away by phantasies and others assumed instead of them. I perceived also that they fancied they had not merely two arms, but more, nor do they then know otherwise than that the fact is so, which they affirm. The illusions that I have seen of this kind are innumerable, and in conversing with them it was given to say that they were phantasies, though they appear to be real. I spoke with spirits concerning the cause of this, and was informed that everything that proceeds from the Lord is real, that what proceeds from spirits is not real, though it appears so, just as a man who is in phantasies thinks evil to be good, and the reverse, besides other things of like kind. If phantasies had not a semblance of reality, they could not exist at all, for they themselves are mere phantasies; the case is with them as with the life of those who think they have life when in fact they have death, yet were it not for this impression they could not live, for the impression in the two cases acts alike. But good spirits have no such phantasies. - 1749, August 4.


WHAT IS MEANT BY FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. The Lord commanded [the disciples] to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; these titles, in the internal sense, signify nothing else than the Good, the True, and the all of Goodness and Truth thence resulting. The Father is the Good, the Son the True, and the Holy Spirit is the Good and the True proceeding therefrom. All this is in the Lord alone. - 1749, August 5.


WHAT IT IS TO BE NOTHING. A certain upright spirit spoke with me saying, that he was nothing. I asked him what conception he had of being nothing, [whereupon] I perceived that he had an idea of being nothing compared to the multitude of spirits and the whole universe. But it was given to say to him that this was one kind of conception, but that there were many others, as, for instance, that he had no power of himself, that he had no thought of himself, that he had no life of himself, and that in fact he was, in himself considered, merely a certain lifeless and defiled something that was altogether evil, and thus that all good is from the Lord. This is the proper idea of [being] nothing, - 1749, August 5.


CONCERNING THE INTERIOR MEMORY AND THE SPEECH THENCE PROCEEDING. I conversed with spirits on the subject of their language or speech being the universal of all languages. When they converse with each other, they are unable to utter the name of any man whatever, or a word of any human language, but when they converse with me they think it is from themselves, but it is from my corporeal or material memory, whereby their ideas flow into names and words. Affirming that they could do it, they made the attempt among themselves to pronounce the name of Abraham, but were unable, as their speech is not [a speech] of words, but of ideas; which are formed into the origins of words. It thence appeared - and I spoke with them on the subject that absolutely nothing of vocal speech, much less the name of any man, kingdom, or region, could pass to spirits, but that it perishes with man, and that the sense only remains, which is such that while it is obscure to man, it becomes distinct with spirits, and is branched out into [particular] ideas. When spirits think of any person, city, or the like, of which they have had an idea derived from their experience in the world, they barely bring up the idea before them, that is, whatever they have heard or seen or conceived of a man, a kingdom, a city, which idea is sometimes simultaneous, sometimes ramified into many, and from thence flows their speech and a full perception. Thus also I have often spoken with spirits, namely in their own speech, and they perceived everything distinctly, and more things indeed in a moment than could be uttered in an hour, because it embraces in its bosom as much as the internal sight and thought, and by this can be presented almost simultaneously what would require a long time to utter and many pages to contain, as anyone may be satisfied who will attend to it. - 1749, August 6.


CONCERNING THE INTERNAL SENSE OF THE WORD. How the case is with the internal sense of the Word, in which are celestial truths themselves, they appear from the fact - concerning which I have conversed with spirits - that if the thought is held fixedly on any subject, and the Word meanwhile is read, then all and singular things therein will apply themselves to the universal of thought and its affection, while confirmations [from various sources] coincide, showing that that which is understood is the true sense, so that scarcely anything is wanting [to establish the point]. With the angels there is the thought only of celestial truths and goods, in which they are held by the Lord, and for this reason everything in the Word is bent to a conformity with their ideas, and everything in the sense of the letter perishes, and entirely another sense is developed, which is the internal, and which is clearly seen so that the sense of the letter becomes, as it were, none. In like manner, a man who is in a celestial idea, and then reads the Word, sees celestial things in his celestial idea, and nothing of the letter, yea, even the historical facts disappear. This may be illustrated in a variety of ways. - 1749, August 8.


It was a source of wonder to me that it was allowed those sirens to wander about as they do, and to vex the good with magical and persuasive arts, but the reason is that the Lord thrusts no one into hell, but they do it of themselves, and their evil when consummated draws them to hell. This is the common receptacle, wherefore the evil dwell a considerable time in the world of spirits, and one sooner and another later precipitates himself thither. Meanwhile the good and the true which they may have is separated and drawn towards the interior, and the ruling evil is consummated and like weights draw them down. I have seen sirens abiding for a long time in the world of spirits, and vexing multitudes, but always from an end of ruling and subjecting the minds of others to themselves, and it was shown that they finally became, namely, that they at first appear like masses of hair - a sign that their foul corporeals alone reign with them - and afterwards that they appear black in the face, and thus as not human. - 1479, August 8. They would fain with their magical persuasions induce the idea that they were to be pitied; but it was answered that no one could pity them, but they whom they wished to injure were to be pitied, and of whom one was more an object of concern than a whole company of such as they were, as also that it is contrary to order to feel pity for evil which continually threatens injury to others, and the destruction of order, just as a judge cannot pity those he condemns, because he thinks of the public good and of the law of order. Thus also is it in the present case. If they should obtain anything by magical persuasions, yet still they would not desist from injury. - 1749, August 8.


CONCERNING MEMORY. I inquired of a certain Jew who supposed himself possessed of memory - for spirits converse with each other as on earth, without being aware that it is from the interior memory - I inquired, I say [of this Jew], his name, and whence he was. He thought and said he did not know, whereupon he became indignant. But it was given to say to him that this ignorance was for many reasons to be preferred. But as to one's quality whether he be good or evil, this is known in the other life, and hence he himself is known. - 1749, August 8.


CONCERNING CONSCIENCE. I conversed with a certain one who, in the life of the body, was devoid of conscience; wherefore he remained a long time in an obscure chamber, and said that he abode there in darkness which he preferred to light. Having broached the subject of conscience in my conversation with him, he said that he knew not what it was. He was then informed, so far as the grossness of thought which is of the love of self and of the world would permit, and as whatever is contrary to the love of self and of the world is contrary to thought, so he perceived conscience as something contrary to his thought, and that from the contrariety he was pained by it, as when one perceives anything to operate in a different way from what he had supposed. From this it may be known what conscience is, namely that it is something contrary to the [apprehended] good or true, be it what it may, by which one is impelled to think or act, and from whence arises pain, thus compelling the inference that it is charity or heavenly love, thus the Lord Himself, which ought to reign supreme apart from the love of self or of the world. Hence he perceived what conscience is; but what mercy is he was ignorant. It was said that there was sometimes mercy where mercy was not apparent, as for instance, when one aims at the common good by punishing the evil and reducing others to order, mercy is then exercised towards the community. So also in war, where the end is victory and thence the common good in the preservation of numbers, in which case there is no mercy towards those that fall because mercy has for its end the saving of many, and so in other things. But to despoil others for the sake of one's self, this is cruelty, because the end is selfish and contrary to the common good. By these considerations he was enlightened. - 1749, August 9. Charity and mercy, moreover, are to be turned from the neighbor to numbers, from numbers to the community, from the community to the Lord's kingdom, from the Lord's kingdom to the Lord himself, who is the all in all. Hence it may be known what is charity and what is mercy respectively. - 1748 August 9.


CONCERNING CONTEMPT AND HATRED. I have conversed with spirits concerning contempt or the despising of others, to wit, that such contempt is of no [evil] account when not prompted by the love of self, or leading one to contemn others as compared with himself or from hatred. Contempt of this latter kind is what damns in the other life; but the despising of others because they are of no ability or endowment, or aptitude to this or that use, because they are deficient in functions or business activities and other things, and does not damn, for this cannot but exist with all men who live in society, and where one ought to think concerning another, whether he can be associated with him considering his quality, as also whether he is adapted to the performance of such and such functions of such and such businesses. Contempt of this kind, though it may be conceived on various false grounds, which need not be recited, yet it does no injury in the other life, as it is easily dissipated when one is in love and charity, as then everyone is estimated according to his real quality; it may remain a little while till charity has found place [but not longer]. Such has been the case with many of my acquaintances who despised me and whom I despised, not however, as preferring myself, nor from hatred, but from the causes above mentioned. The contempt of hatred is when one desires to rob another of his honors, goods, or life; while contempt of another as compared with one's self is, when another from preference of self is not regarded at all, showing that contempt is but another form of self-love. - 1749, August 9.


CONCERNING HYPOCRITES; WHAT GNASHING OF TEETH IS. CONCERNING SPIRITS WHO SEEM TO THINK WELL, BUT YET ARE EVIL; INTERNAL BONDS. Spirits have been with me who caused a pain of the teeth in the right side of the jaw and the gum and in the bones as far as to the right ear. I suppose that they were spirits of a grossly natural and corporeal class, but I observed that they penetrated my thoughts with great subtlety, and were more acute than others in perceiving their minute particulars, as also that from the thought which is exterior they spoke so well that judging from the speech of such thought alone, nothing else could be inferred respecting them than that they were good. All that was thus thought and spoken by a certain one of this class, was rational, but it was still observed that inwardly it was not so, inasmuch as by means of this kind of thought he was conjoined with interior evil spirits. Those of this quality think and speak in like manner in the life of the body, but still they are interiorly evil, having self and the world for their end. The bonds of action with such are not external but interior, which in some are exceedingly strong, still they are not bonds of conscience, which being relaxed they rush into their ends; and because there is even a communication of thoughts in the other life this disagreement is manifestly perceived. - 1749, August 10. With a view to afford me further information respecting the nature of the case, the interior evil spirits were removed, and better ones substituted in their place, when he said that he knew not what he spoke, and that thus he was deprived of life, for his interior life consisted in what was taken away. The influx is into the periostea of the teeth, and then into the pericranium about the right ear, in which they create a pain sharp and severe; a sign of their evil quality; those that cause no pain are good and sensible of all that is thought; of which sensibility the periostea is the seat. It was said that such contribute to the formation of cancers. Hence it appears that ends conceal themselves deeply within, as they are of the life. When such were present at my reading what was written and published respecting the Word, they took away all pleasantness of sensation, and induced contempt greater than they were aware of; for as in the life of the body they were mainly wrought upon by a certain sweetness of worldly life, in which they placed their heaven, so they held in contempt the things which were really of heaven. Thus are hypocrites who speak well, but think ill. Hence for several days a gnashing of teeth and some pain in their roots was felt, and I was often taught by lively experience that it was from this source. When the cause was removed and, according to the degree in which it was removed, the pain ceased; it also passed into the periostea of the head according to the diversities of its states.


CONCERNING THE LIFE OF SPIRITS, OF ANGELS, AND OF MEN. I perceived beyond all doubt that there is nothing else which conjoins in the other life but the very life of man, spirit, and angel. Such as the life is such is the conjunction, even in societies; other things which are not of the life are not regarded in that world, for there everything is governed by the life. - 1749, August 13. Wherefore it was said to spirits who boasted of their various merits in the world, of their study, religion, zeal, and the good works done by them, and who had passed judgement upon others as evil from external manifestations, that no account was made of these things in the other world, but only of the life which they had led, thus of the quality of the life with which they had imbued themselves from their ends and loves. When this was affirmed they could say nothing in reply, for from the experience adduced they could not but acknowledge its truth. The union or conjunction, therefore, in that world is one that results from lives, and not from knowledges, professions of truth, merits, or deeds done without charity.


CONCERNING CONJUGIAL LOVE. In conversing with angels on the subject it was perceived that with those who are in true conjugial love the interiors are opened towards heaven and the Lord for it is an affection which derives its origin from the Lord alone, who flows in through the inmost, so that its quality and source cannot be adequately described; but it is a consequence of this influx that the interiors are opened, and that one who is the subject of it is in celestial affection, and thus has the Lord's kingdom within himself. From the same source also is derived the love towards infants, and because such an one is thus receptible of celestial loves, he receives also mutual love towards the neighbor, for this follows from genuine conjugial love as from a kind of fountain. - 1749, August 13.

Next: 4351-4400