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


CONCERNING A COUNCIL WHEN A DISTINCTION WAS MADE BETWEEN THE DIVINE AND THE HUMAN NATURE OF THE LORD. It was granted to speak with those who were in a council, wherein it was concluded that a distinction should be made between the Lord's Divine and human nature. They were on the left, in front, at a distance. They said that those who had the greatest influence in that council, were together in a dark chamber, and made that decision principally for the reason, that otherwise, if they had acknowledged the Lord as one with the Father, as He said He was, the papal throne would not subsist and that the pope could not have been His vicar in the earth; for schisms existed at that time, whereby the papal power must have slipped away and been dissipated - therefore, for that reason, they assembled, that they might distinguish between the Divine and the human of the Lord; and to corroborate their distinction they sought out confirmations from the Word, and so persuaded the rest. They said that they knew otherwise from Scripture, but that they could not accept it for that reason; and they said, moreover, that, in their hearts, they did not believe in the lord, but that they did not dare to publish this, as, in case they did, they would be driven out or slain. That they could thus rule in heaven and earth, they took from the Word, in that to the Lord is given all power in heaven and earth: and thus they could rule over souls. And since, in addition to this, [they desired to rule] over their remaining possessions also, it was said that they were not content therewith, but also wished to possess everything on earth. It was replied that they would thus have complete power.


THAT EVIL SOCIETIES COHERE, AND ADJOIN TO THEMSELVES STUPID AND SIMPLE SPIRITS. There were some of the more evil sort of sirens who approached, when I wrote, because they could thus attract my pleasure to themselves, and deprive me of it. As often as they came, they also brought along stupid spirits, who, in the world, were learned, and hence of a haughty disposition. These were interposed, and as often as they came, they brought simple upright spirits, whose faith in them was such that they believed whatever they said, as if they had been oracles. The sirens appeared in front, on the right hand, beneath; the learned-stupid spirits to the right on the level of the head, and the simple near by; and it was observed, that, as often as the sirens came, the others came also, and arranged themselves thus in order before me, and superinduced darkness upon me, so that I could scarcely know how to write anything, nor to think, save confusedly. This was very often said to the stupid ones; but they took no notice, for the sirens infused into them [the belief] that they were learned, that they were sent hither to rule, and many such [notions]. Hence it was evident, that there was a league of societies, extending from the evil to the simple upright; but still those who are upright, after being long harassed by such, are released, or liberated, from that league, and come amongst the upright.


CONCERNING THE HELL UNDER THE HEEL OF THE FOOT. Deep under the heel is a hell. Between the foot and that hell, there appears as it were a vacuum, so that they appear at once as in the depths. These are the most wicked. They explore the mind secretly, so that no one may know it, and plot with others in order to destroy; and this in various modes. Quite often have I observed and seen them. They stealthily pour out venom on those who are above, and breathe in evils and incite to their commission. So wicked are they, and so interior their wickedness, that scarcely any are more so. There appear there, as it were, Jesuits, sometimes in mantles, and sometimes in another guise. They are often chastised; and then they are let down deeper, and shrouded in a cloud like a rock. Those are there who are inwardly wicked; especially of that sort who are called Jesuits - who are of such a character. Others are on the right, in front, near by, above the magicians, and also below. Those who are under the heel can induce weeping; they also, whenever they wished, forced tears out of my eyes: moreover, they can strike something of fear, and this from their custom of obtaining wealth for their monasteries, from the sick and others they were with; for, then, their artifice was to compel them to weep so as to move them to pity, and to impress the fear of purgatory. There were also observed, midway under the heel, some who appeared to sit there, as in a chamber, and consult together. They also are wicked, but not in so great a degree.


CONCERNING A GREAT CITY. In a dream I was conducted about, and came to a certain little city, where were wooden houses; and, inasmuch as it seemed to me that I had wandered from the house where I was, a boy was appointed who led me to a great city, where I seemed to stop, and was led along by the boy through a region continuously inhabited; and this for a long while. In this journey I saw many people and the buildings which they had there; and at length I came to a city, which, seen without, was vast; in front, also, it was situated upon hills and mountains, and, on the side, was so great that it could not be described. Then I awaked, and it was said that, in such cities, [spirits] are together and cohabit; and that more marvelous sights may there be seen than can in any way be described.


 4556-1 There were afterwards with me, when I was in the city in a wakeful state, some evil spirits; but they saw nothing else but monsters and serpents; so that evil spirits, in a city where the good are, are unable to see them; but, instead of them, [they see] things of such a kind as they [the evil] are, because there the light of heaven is.


Therefore, those who come thither, and are not in heavenly light, or in external sight from the light of heaven, that is, in the good of charity and in love to the Lord, can see nothing there; those who are a little in that light see obscurely; they who are not in it at all see nothing, or even monsters instead of those things [that are there].


HYPOCRITES WHO HURT THE FLESH OF THE GUMS OF THE TEETH. Pain seized upon the flesh of the gums of the left side, so that they became swollen. I thence perceived that hypocrites were present, and it was discovered that it was Dideron, who was such a hypocrite, that, while he spoke in a courteous and friendly manner with others, he yet mocked them in his heart. Thence, also, he could be in the company of the good for some time. Moreover, he was such that his delight was to produce sorrow and pain in others, and this continually.


I also perceived a pressure and pain, on the head, in the skull, just above the part those teeth were below. This also was from thence; for hypocrites inflict pain on the very bones of the skull.


CONCERNING THE EVIL WHO HAVE PLACED MERIT IN WORKS. Deep under those who cut wood, of whom [I have spoken] before, in a certain hell, are those who have placed merit in works. I thought about Bezaleel, who made those things which belonged to the ark. A certain one was let out thence: I spoke with him. He said that he had done many good things, and obtains nothing in the other life, but that he is in hell among similar [spirits], where he suffers harsh things; and I perceived in each particular of his thought, that if he only, to some extent, thought well, or spoke well, and still more if he did well, he wished to be rewarded. So that [a regard for] recompense was in each particular. It was granted to ask him what reward he wished, seeing that he was of such a character: he said that he wished to be in heaven, and there preside over others. It was granted to tell him that he could not be among the good, because he would thus inspire them, from himself with a similar characteristic to his own, and so do evil to those who thought nothing of such a kind; for they [the good] know that nothing is from merit, but everything from grace and mercy: thus he would injure them: and, besides, he would never be content; his constant thought would be that he wished to be rewarded, and that whatever he might obtain would not correspond with his merit; thus he would aspire to lordship over all, and wish to be God - even above God. Wherefore, it cannot happen otherwise than that he is among such as were in a similar insane affection. He insisted that he had done many good works; but he was told that it was for his own sake, and that he had his reward during the life of the body, in that he was then placed over others, and exercised dominion over others, and so had his delight; and that he had never thought about another life. And, furthermore, it was granted to say that certain simple ones believe something similar from the Word because it is there said that their reward is in the other life, and that very many of them are in heaven: this, however, is because they are such that they are contented with few things in the Lord, and neither aspire to higher things, nor to dominion; but that it is otherwise with those who are not contented with a few things, and who wish to rule over others: they are never contented; which is the reason they are kept so remote from heaven. These can never have charity towards the neighbor, and wish as well to him as to themselves, still less so delight therein as to benefit others rather than themselves - which all the angels do.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE IN NATURAL GOOD AND IN NO SPIRITUAL GOOD. There was a certain one whom I supposed to be a good Christian, because he was in natural good. He likewise performed his work diligently, and was also accomplished, and at the same time exceedingly ingenious, in his craft; but I observed that if he had been able [to determine the matter], he would not be such a one. Thence I was led into the thought that his good was from no internal obligation, but only from nature and external pleasure. The quality of such people in the other life was also told and shown to me, that, [namely], they are in the greatest pollution and uncleanness, and are expressly kept away from the good; for they have done good from no religious motive, thus from no internal bond, still less from any conscience. Wherefore, in the other life, they are seduced by the evil, and adhere to them; for the evil obtain ascendancy over them, and, through them, catch the simple good, and acquire to themselves a sphere, so that they may exercise rule. The evil direct that sphere to themselves by every artifice of domineering, and those [in natural good] are the ones to whom they apply themselves, and thus work many evils. The good, however, employ no craft, but simply say that it is not good; and they do not add artifice or inspire desires and pleasures, like the evil: and, because those [first mentioned] have no internal bond, therefore the good which flows in, flows through, and, in the ultimate, is taken possession of by the evil. Hence arise pollutions. They are, also, withheld from the company of the good, because an external sphere of apparent good, inspired by the evil, operates.


CONCERNING FORTUNE. INFLUX. ((Very often have I spoken with spirits and angels concerning fortune, which, in the world, appears as if accidental, because [men] do not know whence it is, and because everything of fortune appears as if accidental; because, moreover, man attributes it to himself and his own prudence - to, which, also, he bends it - and attributes nothing to the Divine. Very often there had happened to me such an experience as appears as if it were of fortune - as, for instance, trifling misfortunes - and it was afterwards shown, by angels, that they happened because spirits of such a kind [as bring about misfortune] were present; and also because their sphere prevailed against the sphere which was from heaven, thus from the Divine. It was shown to the life. Moreover, evil spirits, by means of their arts, acquired a sphere; and, when they had accomplished this, misfortunes arose, just like accidents or mishaps. Thence, also, it was perceived, that all things, and the least parts of all things, are directed by Divine Providence, even as to the slightest step and slightest nod; and that when such a state prevails as is contrary to the influx from the Divine, misfortune happens. But [real] misfortune is such as concerns man's eternal happiness and felicity, and not that which concerns such things as are in the world; for these appear to man as happy when yet they are hurtful. That fortunate and fortuitous things are thence, and that there is no accident [strictly so-called], I was instructed by many experiences, which I cannot here adduce.))


CONCERNING THE HELL OF ADULTERERS. ((The hell of adulterers is under the buttocks. Those there are in excrements. They continually endeavor to roll themselves out thence for they desire more than others to come into the world, because they have also been such as loved mundane and corporeal things above everything else. In a certain night, while awake, there appeared there an egurgitation and rising up, as occurs with ashes under which are live coals and firebrands. A mass of them threw themselves forth with smoke. I wondered what it could signify: And also it struck a warm sensation to the cauda 4563-1 and back part of the loins. It was said that that hell is in the continual endeavor to thus project itself.))


CONCERNING THOSE WHO DO NOTHING FROM THEMSELVES BUT [ONLY] FROM OTHERS. There was a certain one, known to me in the life of the body (Silfwerstrom), with whom, also, I spoke on the day when his body was buried. He saw, through my eyes, the bier and coffin; he beheld the funeral obsequies, and those there; he saw his wife and relatives. When, also, he first came into the other life, it was supposed that he was upright, as [is supposed] with all, in the beginning, when they come thither. He was surprised that he was immediately like spirits who have been long in the other life; for, indeed, he supposed that he knew quite as much as I did. But when he noticed evil ones, whom he had known in the life of the body, in a special hell, he betook himself thither, and delighted in their company, and thought altogether like them - thus their evils and knaveries. I then spoke with angels concerning such, [saying] that they are of such a character that they may be applied both to the evil and the good, and may be held by the former and the latter in a similar thought, and this because, in the life of the body, they had thought nothing steadfastly, but weighed both sides, and inclined to the side of popular opinion and authority, and where lay the prospect of gain and hope of honor. It was also said that they cannot be among the good, because, as soon as they are tempted, or anything inflows from the evil, they are then separated from the good, and betake themselves to the quarters of the evil - and this the more readily because the evil know manifold arts for enticing others to evils and falses, which the good do not trouble about.


CONCERNING THE WORD. A certain society was heard where they talked to one another, saying that there had been some conversation about the Word, and it was said that there is nothing Divine therein. They also opened a copy of the Bible, and, no matter where they then read, they found nothing else, as they said, than what was merely terrestrial, and nowhere anything Divine. Wherefore, they embraced the opinion that the Word is not Divine, but [only] received and regarded as holy. But a certain one of them, whom also I heard speaking, had then replied that it is indispensable that the Divine should be therein, and that there [should be], inwardly in the sense something which is not known. He had also extracted some things from the prophetic writings, and said there was concealed there what does not appear to man, for the reason that there must be some wholly Divine Word on earth, because man is born in order that he may come into another life. He said, afterwards, that many things had been opened to him which are in the interiors of the Word, and that the others apprehended nothing of them.


CONCERNING HELL. Several times, during sleep, I was conducted through various places in hell, and then into out of the way places, from which I longed [to get] into the highway: but then, everywhere, I came across spirits who were robbers - and this in immense abundance - who cherished no other purpose than to plunder and kill. Several times was I thus [led about) for several hours; and I afterwards observed to the angels, that, at this day, the hells are very full of such characters; for, inwardly, they desire nothing else than to plunder and kill.


CONCERNING FORTUNE. INFLUX. (((Once upon a time, I played a game of chance with a certain person; and then the spirits around me thought concerning chance or accidental circumstances; and they said that good-luck was represented to them by a bright cloud, and ill-luck by a black one; they said, also, that they had, at that time, a perception that he with whom was the blackish cloud could by no means win the game, but he with whom was the bright cloud - which also happened. They asserted this, and apprehended whence came accidental circumstances, to wit, that [they are] from the Providence of the Lord and His influx into the ultimates of order, where it thus appears; and that such a thing could by no means exist, unless the Providence of the Lord were in the minutest particulars of all things.)))


CONCERNING THE SPEECH OF ANGELIC SPIRITS. Several times, in sleep, there appeared to me representatives accompanied by perception, and this for a long time; and, at the time, I plainly understood what I was thinking and speaking. But, as soon as I had waked, I could not recall what it was, because it appeared imperceptible and inexpressible, as, also, to the sense of the body and thence to perception, for the most part, it was. During this night, there appeared to me, in like manner, as it were a certain something approaching to the form of an arm, then to that of a thick stick, and this for a long time; and I then continually reflected, from various points of view, concerning absolute power in kingdoms; and, afterwards, the arm, or that stick, was more densely fibrated and compacted, and I then considered that this was not an orderly state of things, and consequently, that power ought not to be absolute, but limited by laws. From this it was apparent, that the representatives of power were in the place of a foundation, whereupon was supported a perceptive thought for these things - concerning which I then [reflected] and so in other matters. It was also perceived that there is such a language with man, as to interior thought - whereof he is ignorant - and that he comes into it after the life of the body, and that innumerable things can be expressed and comprehended thereby, which can in no way be expressed by the speech of the body.


CONCERNING THE LIFE AFTER DEATH: THAT MAN APPEARS TO HIMSELF TO LIVE IN THE WORLD. I was in discussion with some within the church, concerning the life of man after death. They said that the man who dies is not awakened into life till the day of the last judgment; and that, then, he rises again with the body also. But I, as often, replied to them that the day of the last judgment to anyone is immediately when he dies, and that, then, he comes into another life, and, there, plainly appears to himself in a body just as in the world; but that, there, his body is not visible to the eyes of the body in the world, just as the body in the world is not visible to the eyes of that body there. But they of the Church here in the world, wholly denied this, and also scoffed at it, being unaware that I knew this from experience itself. They said they believed that resurrection is only granted when one is at the same time in the body; and that the soul has a body they were utterly unwilling to know at all, not even that the soul has any form, still less that the soul is a spirit in human form after the life of the body. From this, I clearly saw that they had no idea at all concerning the soul, that it is anything, nor concerning the spirit, nor concerning the internal man, and that, to them, it appeared wholly paradoxical, yea, impossible, that man, in the other life - like the angels and spirits, who appeared to many, concerning whom [we read] in the Word - appears in the human form. Hence, I was also able to infer that few within the Church believe in a resurrection. I have also often spoken about this matter with spirits, and they marveled that the man of the Church is at this day of such a character, and especially that they wholly reject the truth that man appears like a man in the other life; and similarly all spirits and angels to each other; and that they mutually see each other much more clearly than in the world; mutually hear each other, converse together, yea, touch each other; so that they are in a body, and also in a world, but in another, which is not visible to the eyes of men living in the earthly body, just as the world of men [is invisible] to the eyes of spirits and angels.


CONCERNING FREEDOM. In order that I might know that man's life consists in freedom, because freedom is of affection, I was once on a time brought into coercion, to wit, into such a state that I could not act from freedom, but [only] from coercion. This was insinuated in the thought. Then the angels said that I have no life; for they are able to see the quantity and quality of the life that is with man. Hence it was plain to me, that life consists in freedom, and, that, in proportion to the deficiency of life is the amount of coercion, consequently, that man cannot receive the new life, that is, be regenerated, except in freedom - in order, that is, that it [the new life] may be of his own affection, and of an affection akin to that, which is not possible unless the evils which constitute an opposite freedom are removed.


LICE WHICH FREQUENT BUILDINGS. There are some who have been theologians, and have believed that religion is nothing but a political power in the world, which they devoted themselves to, on the supposition that when they died they would die altogether; and also that theological matters in the world are of use to such as they were, for persuading, and, likewise, for ruling over, others.


CONCERNING DISEASES: CONCERNING THOSE WHO INDUCE FEVERS AND THE LIKE. (((It was shown me, by living experience, that there are mediate spirits, who are in the deep, directly beneath the spinal marrow, [and that] when there is granted them the means of ascending, or communicating their sphere - thus when that hell is opened somewhat - they infuse a feverish heat. This was shown me by living experience for an entire day. I was as it were feverish, in such a heat; and it was then given me to know that it was infused from a lower [region], and from those who are there. That heat is purely corporeal, yet from a vital origin; but it is separated from the interior vital heat - and it was given me to know, that, with men who are in fevers, such spirits are present; for the sick man summons those who infuse heat. Such [spirits] rush where their sphere is. Nothing is effected with man except by means of spirits. Thence is his life; therefore, whatever is suited and unsuited to his life. As soon as such [spirits] are driven away the fever ceases; but all and everyone of the things happen according to order, and all things proceed according thereto; therefore several fevers have also stated alternations, for all things must be arranged within those periods, so that the man may be able to remain in safety. And if, as before [said], it is expedient for him, he dies of these things. Medical means are likewise mediate causes, which the Lord disposes from Providence. That a man becomes restored from the Providence of God man knows, for he so says; and some acknowledge it by attributing their restoration to God, and by giving thanks on account of it.)))


(((There are also spirits, not far from thence, who infuse cold, and, thereby, paroxysms of cold fever:))) ((which it was also given me to know by living and sensible experience. In that region are the most malicious, the most skilful of all in the art of destroying others and the human race:)) (they study nothing else; they continually seek after new things of such a character whereby they can injure; and they put them into act amongst themselves, so that they may know - for they can induce infirmities; they can [effect] such things as disturb the mind, and deprive man of his external vitality:) hence he is as if inclined to fall, just as in sickness, when he begins to come near [them], etc. In a word, they are most malicious: They separate interiors and exteriors, in various modes, and fill up the exteriors with offensive things, injurious to man: hence, when interiors fall into [exteriors] of such a kind, they are turned into shocking and deplorable things; for, if the recipient forms are perverted, whatever falls therein is perverted also. In such a manner, also, are interiors disunited from exteriors; and, when this is done, man is no longer of a sound mind - as, also, is the case in fevers. [Their] operation is principally into the stomach, and also into the biles, both of the pancreas and the liver; and, from thence, arise such effects [as have been described] and also vomitings, whereto they excite an endeavor. They are indescribably obstinate; they never desist unless they are driven away. ((There are in hell very hot places, which it was also granted me to feel, for the sake of knowing [where are] such as induce fevers. They know almost everything; and from those places they throw forth that impure and merely corporeal heat, separate from vitality; for, in the other life, [evil spirits] know how to transfer such things skillfully, and they likewise know by what shifts they can determine them into the body. Such [spirits] are of the most pernicious character, so obstinate as never to desist unless driven away by the Lord; and when they are driven away, immediately the febrile heat ceases. Wherefore, they also speak truly who have been sick when they ascribe their recovery of health to God, and give thanks to Him; although very many do this only from a custom derived from infancy, and, when left to themselves, ascribe it to nature.))


CONCERNING THE HELLS OF THE SIRENS. Of what nature sirens are has been described several times already. They are exceedingly malicious, and have acquired, in the world, the art of simulating goods, as though [they were] angels; wherefore, in externals, they emit from themselves affections of good, and thence insinuate themselves among simple spirits, who are related to the exteriors of man's thoughts, or his natural things. Thus, they keep themselves in the world of spirits, and can with difficulty be driven out thence; for such things elevate evil spirits from hell for quite a long time, and they thereby enter into men's thoughts, and wholly lead them, so that, because they are internal, they are the worst of those who beset [man], and men cannot at all be defended from them, save by the Lord. They act most persistently, and do not fear anything; they rely on their arts; they also know how to insinuate themselves by labyrinthine gyres, from whence they speak, sometimes in such a manner, that they are heard elsewhere than where they are, 4573-1 and so are sought after in vain. This was given me to know from many living experiences. They belong to two genera. Some have for an end to rule over man, and every society whatever to which they can come, by thus besieging and leading the thoughts. These are the most harassing kind. The other genus is similar, but has not such a frenzy for ruling: they take away all freedom from those who wish to think well, and grant freedom [to those] who will wickedly; for these are the ones who exercise thought there. They are most obscene; they are sorceresses; they are against everything good and true. Whence such a crew comes has been already said. Their hells were in front, at a distance towards the left: they who wish to rule are somewhat to the right there, in different caverns. But I saw that their hells were changed, and transferred to the back on the left, very deep down, from whence they can by no means burst forth any more, and infest spirits and men. They are there under a dense cloud, through which their artifices cannot penetrate. They entered there in crowds of fifty and a hundred each, more or less. This continued for many hours. On the upper side, the hell there is like a maw with gullets which are extendible. As soon as they arrived, it [the hell] stretched the maw by bending and forming it in labyrinths, whereinto they let themselves go, and it engulfed them, and thus thrust them deep under the disreputable earth there, from whence they are unable to come forth. This appeared to me on the 5th and 6th of August, 1752. They likewise form, as it were, serpentine coils, wherein they place themselves; and then they cannot be removed by others, except by means of similar coils. Such is the case in the other life.


CONCERNING THE HELLS OF THOSE WHO ARE EVIL WITHIN AND GOOD WITHOUT. THE TONGUE. There are those, who, in the world, appeared externally good, gentle and obliging; but their delight, which they concealed within, was that they might injure the neighbor in every possible manner. Such are not distinguished from others - as, for example, (Losche . . .) 4574-1 Such, in the other life, also hold themselves on high a long time, on account of their being externally gentle and good. [They do] this with the simple, who do not go very deeply [into things]; for, thus, they raise themselves up through a way to the right, where are such as have been similar; and they especially desire that such may injure each other. They sit there, to the right, at a side place, and there delight in such things. Such spirits are sent to the hell in that region. They are swallowed up by the thousand. Some are precipitated thither, and this through many vicissitudes: others forever following. They are malignant genii. Those who are raised up by these, are of such a character, also. While they think those things which are of faith - for they have thought and believed in something of the kind - they compel others, into whom they are operating, to put the tongue between the teeth in order that they may bite it, and so cut it off very many times, it was granted me to experience [this] attempt of his, and of such like ones, so that I might know of what quality they are. [They are such] as [would have] rejoiced, if they could [thus] have effected it, that they had destroyed me utterly; for, without a tongue, I should be deprived of the faculty of eating, and also of speaking, thus, of associating with men. Hence it is, that their greatest desire is the desire of such things; hence, also, their delight is augmented according to the magnitude of the injury [they are able to inflict]. I have now seen, for two days, many thousands thus swallowed down into their new hell.


CONCERNING A VISION OF A HOUSE AND SPIRITS THERE; ALSO OF A CITY AND BUILDINGS. When I was in bed and asleep, I was let by the Lord into a state of vision wherein I had not been before. I was in a wakeful vision; for I was continually thinking that, although in the body in the world, I was in the other life among spirits; so that what I then saw, my spirit beheld, as it were separate from the body. I saw, at that time, a great building of stone, in which circular stairs, in the midst, led upward; and there were chambers all round about. I arrived at the top of that building, and I saw several of those who were there, to whom I said that I wished to see the apartments of the building, if anyone would go with me. Then a boy was assigned me to show them to me. He led me into various apartments, where were men, and from one room to another. In each something particular was seen, as to utensils and decorations, and in each I spoke with those there, and saw their faces in open day; I also heard their voice like a man's in the world, and all the time as if awake thinking that I was among spirits: so that I saw them just as they see themselves. They all had clear complexions, and a distinct utterance. I was received everywhere, nor did they inquire who I was. Hence it was plain to me, what kinds of spirits dwell with each other in the other life, and that they associate just as in the world, and that there are much more marvelous things, there, than in the world. I told them that they were spirits, and that I was in the world; but to this they answered nothing.


After that, I departed thence, and roamed through the streets of the city - not in a dream, but in spirit amongst spirits and there I saw many houses, into one of which I entered, and spoke with two persons, and so returned into the world.


Those spirits were of those of a middling quality, such as were not in the lust of injuring others, nor of ruling over others. But where the angels are, are the most magnificent palaces, such as cannot be described, and such as the best architect would never believe possible to be produced. They are resplendent with precious wood and stones; and [the angels] live in the most splendid auras, whereof [I have spoken] already.


Afterwards, when I was in the body, I spoke with them concerning the fact that they are like men upon earth. They said that they hardly know otherwise [than that they are men upon earth].


HELL. CONCERNING SUCH AS, IN EXTERNAL FORM, SOUND OF SPEECH AND EXTERNAL GESTURE, APPEAR, AS IT WERE, JUST AND SERIOUS, AND SO [ARE] IN AUTHORITY, MANY OF WHOM ARE IN HONORABLE OFFICE, AND YET ARE THE MOST MALICIOUS. In the other life are some such as have been already described, having similarly sounding voices, so that, from the sound of the speech, and from the external sphere, they appear altogether good, and their sphere is powerful among the simple good. Hence, they are able to be for a time in the world of spirits; but yet they are lovers of self, and only benefit those who act in the same manner as they do, promote their honor and gain, and adhere to them: those, however, who do not do so, they injure in every manner whatsoever, and feel nothing to be more sweet than their distresses and torments. They most obstinately persist in these practices. Such ones hate everybody in the other [life] except the evil, particularly those who at the same time torture others. So obstinately do they continue to torture others, and such delight do they find in it, that it is incredible; nor would they desist to eternity. At length, I saw that such spirits are thrust down into a hell, on the left hand side there, at a distance, and are there let down very deep, some of them exceedingly deep: yet, in order that they may not farther indulge the hope of emerging thence, they are in a very dense cloud there.


CONCERNING THE HELLS OF [THOSE OF] THE MALE SEX WHO ARE LIKE THE SIRENS, WHO ARE OF THE FEMALE. There are some of the male sex, who talk sincerely and as it were truly, and have also acquired from practice and disposition the ability to appear so, and are also believed to be of such a character, and quite persuade others that they are such; when yet they enter into the affections of others, and inveigle them according to opportunity, and, when their reputation is not endangered, [they seduce] others to such things, and plunder others of their belongings, in a deceitful and cunning manner. They know different ways of doing this. They are interiorly the most malicious, having no other end than to rule and cheat. Such, in the other life, sound as if sincere and true, and are so believed to be by the simple. They are wholly pernicious, not unlike the sirens; they suppose that they [can] never be thrust down into hell: they trusted in their art. There is a great number of such, and their hell was changed. It is near the hell of the sirens, but nearer, at a less distance [from me], and nearer to the side, to wit, backwards. When they were cast thither, it appeared as if all were successively heaped together into one ball, and then rolled down into their hell. There, a nebulous [cloud] receives them. Hence, communication with the world of spirits is taken away from them. They there practice such things upon one another, because they cannot do so upon others; and they torment each other, and this by turn and turn about, and at oft-repeated intervals, even till their malice is subdued, which only happens after many ages.


CONCERNING THE HELLS OF THOSE WHO BRING HELP TO THE SIRENS. It was not, at first, known to me that there was a hell from which were sent forth those who bore aid to the sirens, and favored them, and also disclosed many things. It was now revealed to me: it is quite at the back, at a great distance. As soon as the sirens arrived from afar, then was one immediately let out, from that hell, high above, and he communicated with the sirens. They who were in that hell were also successively cast into another hell, also behind the back, [but] nearer the back. They were swallowed up as soon as they reached thither; and those who were in the latter hell were also swallowed up. This still continues. They are genii.


CONCERNING THE HELL OF THOSE WHO, FROM INMOST DECEIT, WISH AND LABOR TO INFLICT HARM ON MAN, IN SUCH A MANNER THAT, EXTERIORLY, THEY APPEAR HONEST AND SINCERE AND FRIENDLY. There are some of such a character that, in interaction, they appear friendly and sincere, but still their delight is to inflict harm, not only on friends, but also on neighbors and other acquaintances. They study this; they secretly contrive it; and they take precautions, that not anything about it should become known. One of them (the brewer who lived opposite my house) appeared quite high above. He also induced an attempt to bite the tongue. The hell of such, or the like, is on the left side, a little distance backward. They themselves did not dare to do such things; but it was their delight to assist that one who was above, so that he might contrive them. I saw that there appeared as it were a ladder, whereby he might ascend; and the bystanders assisted that one above, with their arts. They then posted themselves in a place near their hell, and, by their presence there, kept him on high; but the mouth of [another] hell was opened, and into it were successively cast all who came to that place: so that their hell is changed also. They are genii. So much delight attaches to doing evil, that, even though they see before themselves the mouth of another hell, and know that they can never emerge thence, yet, nevertheless, the delight of evil so carries them along, that they do not refrain; for the delight of doing evil is their life. Similar is the case with certain other hells.


CONCERNING A MOST MALICIOUS ONE, WHO WAS DECEITFUL UNDER [A GUISE OF] INNOCENCE. HIS HELL. Once on a time, most filthy things were poured forth and very powerfully, so that the sphere was filled with such things. The spirits around me did not know whence they came; but it was revealed that it was from one of such as seem to themselves to ascend by ladders, at the back; for he was suddenly drawn by a great veil behind, and appeared beneath, looking just like an infant, by which was signified, that it was innocence he put on in order to produce such abominations. He was then immediately raised up aloft, and shown to the angels, as to what quality of devil he was, and of what quality he had been in the life of the body; and he was then rejected to the back, as far off as the hells there extend themselves, so that he might be removed from the view of heaven to the remotest hell there.


CONCERNING THE HELLS. When anyone from the hells appears, it is at once known from which one they are. Those from different hells appear distinct. Some appear with a dreadful face, some black and some like monsters of various kinds; in a word, the forms are innumerable; and, what is wonderful, all in hell, how many soever they may be, when viewed in the ordinary light of heaven, appear like each other, and also speak alike, so that you would believe them to be one and the same person, when yet they are innumerable, as I proved with the two kinds of sirens, -everyone speaks and acts like the others; and I saw that there were thousands upon thousands, everyone of whom was like the others.


CONCERNING DISEASES. (All the infernals induce diseases, but with a difference according to the part to which they are attached, so that they may act from the opposite, to wit, in opposition to those in heaven, to whom the parts of the body correspond - for there are opposites to every society in heaven; for, as angels or angelic societies preserve in connection and soundness all things in man, so infernals, from the opposite [side], divide them. But it is only permitted them to inflow into the cupidities and falsities pertaining to man - not into man's organs. Only when man falls into disease, then they inflow also into those [organs] in man where the disease is; for nothing ever exists with man, save by a cause from the spiritual world. Man supposes that such things exist in him, and that there is nothing outside him that acts; when, yet, every natural has its cause from a spiritual, otherwise it would be without a cause; but, still, this does not interfere with the fact that they can be, and also ought to be, cured, or made sound, by natural means. The Lord's providence then concurs with such means: and thus, also, man is kept the longer away from faith concerning a providence in the minutest particulars; for, if he should believe this, and afterwards deny it, he would profane a sacred truth, which is itself a most dreadful hell.


That such things derive their cause from the spiritual world, it was given me to know through much experience, which occurred that never anything might be left in doubt. Such spirits were often, and for a long time, attached to me, and they induced torments and pains, yea, even diseases. They were shown as to where they were, and of what quality they were; spirits spoke with them, and it was given me to know whence they came.


The most obdurate of all are those, who, in the life in the world, appeared juster than others and hence were in authority, and yet have believed nothing and have lived the life of the love of self revenging all things which may be done against them, regarding as enemies those who have opposed themselves to them and those who have not reverenced them. When they argued concerning faith, and concerning the life after death, they were believed by others, [as] being in authority by virtue of their justice and earnestness. They likewise speak, in the other life, like those who are principled in justice. But they are most malicious. When they are applied, then they induce agony of the spirit, by means of tedium, which they increase and inspire continually, and thus they add impatience, which begets the greatest suffering and induces such weakness of body that [the man] can scarce raise himself from bed. This was shown me by this means: when they were present, such a weakness took possession of [me], and when they were removed, it ceased, in proportion as they were removed. They also employ many arts, so as to infuse weariness and thence weakness. They appeared next the head; but when they were turned out, they were turned out towards the left, and cast down into a deep hell there. It is to the left, at a moderate distance.)


THAT ALL THINGS INFLOW, THE GOOD AND THE TRUE FROM THE LORD. INFLUX. ((For a whole night I was in a spiritual sphere, but awake just as a spirit, and an uninterrupted sphere of influx inflowed that all good and truth is from the Lord. I was in this sphere for many hours at a time, and, also, in the opposite sphere, that all things are from the proprium. The latter sphere continually inflowed, and desired to destroy the other, but it could not accomplish anything for very many hours; but I was constantly in the sphere that everything good and true is from the Lord, and the opposite sphere, which assailed [this], was able to effect nothing at all. In such a sphere are those spirits held, who are initiated and confirmed in that truth. [They are held in it], likewise, to the end that the opposite spirits may recede.))


A HELL. CONCERNING THOSE WHO INMOSTLY CHERISH TREACHERY AGAINST THE NEIGHBOR, AND, WITHOUT, APPEAR HONEST, CONCERNING WHOM, ALSO, [I HAVE SPOKEN] JUST ABOVE. This hell was in the left parts, towards the region of the back. That crew was cast out from the others, and they immediately inspired a longing to bite the tongue, and also a certain pain in the extreme edges of the tongue. They were thrust forth into a hell more in front, as above said, and there appeared, there, a watery [mist], into which they were cast. The ones thrust forth, when immersed beneath, came into their own atmosphere. This lasted for weeks. At length, because they did not desist, the watery [mist] penetrated also into the former hell, and swallowed them up. The watery [mist] is exterior honesty. These are most pernicious.


CONCERNING THE HELL FROM WHENCE COMES FEBRILE HEAT. DISEASE. ((There appeared a great quadrangular opening, inclining obliquely downwards; and, there, at a great depth, appeared a round hole, which was then open, but was immediately closed. It was said, that thence exhales the dangerous heat which is collected there from various hells - being derived from such things as induce heats, as, for example, from adulteries, strifes, revenges, cruelties, and many other such things. Hence exhales the heat which infests the body when it falls into a febrile disease; but with much variety.


The spirits out of such hells are not present with the sick; but there is a general sphere, and general influx, from such heats, that are at once appropriated by the disease itself. Spirits from those very hells were with me, in order that I might be taught whence such things are, and those spirits had communication with those places: according as they were withdrawn, the disease became quiescent, and according as they approached, it became more virulent. Thus it is with heat, with cold, with pain of the teeth, of the temples, of the head, of the hip, and of the various joints.))


CONCERNING DISEASES. ((All diseases, with man, exist from no other source [than that just described], and very many only from cupidities, as for instance, from excessive indulgence of various vices, and from the number of them, as from the various bodily delights from lascivious practices, and from anxiety about the future. These are the real causes of all diseases. Nor is death itself from any other source, than by reason of sin. These things vitiate the blood: when this is vitiated, they obstruct and choke up the very small vessels - wherefore diseases break out. Hence it is that diseases correspond to those spheres which are from hell. If mankind had lived in a state of good, then a man would wane, even to the utmost feebleness of age; and then, when the body could no longer minister to the internal man, that man would pass away from its earthly body, without disease.))


CONCERNING HEAVEN AND HELL. Heaven is in the light of truth, which is from the Lord; thoughts concerning the Lord are thence; and angels are those who receive the Lord in such a manner that they are delighted in the happiness of all, and earnestly desire it, and have their own happiness therein. Such is the communion of felicities throughout the universal heaven. But those who will only their own happiness, and care nothing for others, are not able to be in heaven. They communicate no happiness from themselves, therefore, they fall down, like heavy bodies, as if dead [on approaching heaven]; for they cannot support the entrance of such felicity. They are in its opposite. I remarked to the angels, that it is wonderful that so few, in the other life inquire for the Lord, although the Christian world is so numerous; when yet others, such as worshippers of men and saints, ask for those whom they worshipped in the life of the body, and rejoice because they can find them - likewise Gentiles who worshipped idols; but it was replied, that evil, infernal, or diabolical spirits, are, on the first apprehension, at once averse to that which is truly Divine, for the reason that it does not accord with them. Hence it may manifestly enough appear that the Divine Itself whereto they are averse, is the Lord.


CONCERNING THE CREW OF SIRENS AND THEIR HELL. Those women become sirens, who devise nothing else than how they may enter into the affections of men, over whom they wish to rule and by whom to profit, by enticing their self-love or even self-esteem, so that, being by-and-by captivated, they may suffer themselves to be ruled by them, and devote all their powers to them, when yet these women have not even the least love towards the men, but in their heart, wholly despise them. They thus act with many in succession, or even simultaneously. Hence, in the other life, as soon as they come to spirits, they enter into their thoughts, and hold the thought entirely obsessed, until they [these spirits] are liberated by the Lord. They cannot but at once intrude themselves into the thoughts and obsess them, from a habit acquired in the life of the body. There, they are spiritual vermin; and, unless the Lord should free the world of spirits from such ones, hardly any good spirit would be able to be in that world, without being led captive by them. Moreover, they do not care for right and wrong: they also practice abominable crimes, in a word, even extremely diabolical [crimes], and count them as nothing. When first they enter into the thoughts [of a man] they then follow his thought strongly; afterwards, they lead it.


They are skilled in very many arts for perverting the order that exists in the other life. It is a common practice with them, that they do not speak [in the ordinary way, but] from some other place than where they are, so that spirits may not know their whereabouts. 4595-1 To this end they employ magical art. They wrap round, as it were, with bandages, a counterfeit wand, and this in very numerous folds - sometimes a hundred - and this magical wand they project to the place from which they wish that the voice from them should be heard; and, also, while they are speaking and entering into the thought, it is not heard otherwise than as if they are in that place. The angels, who do not care for magic, see and point out where they are; but they cannot be resisted unless first that magic [wand] is unwrapped. Sometimes they mix up with the bandages other things, which they take from some affection.


For several days, perhaps a week or two, they came to me in crowds, because, with me, they were able to see the world, and thus to be in the very corporeal [state] and, as soon as they arrived, they flew upon my thought, which they kept so bound that I had no liberty of thinking, and also, as a climax, they spoke from elsewhere, by means of their magical paraphernalia, which, when I perceived, were unfolded; and, so, they were descried where they were, and sent thence into a hell, which is at the right, somewhat to the back, and not far off. In that hell, since they are not able thus to obsess others, and to act in unison, thus to be accomplices, they there mutually assail each other in a similar way. Many associate themselves against many; and those who overcome treat the others miserably, without any mercy. But the ferocious ones among them are removed; and those who are especially cruel are cast into caverns, where they are not able to do such things. The angels continually hold the hells in subjection to themselves, and temper all things there, and this from the Lord; otherwise, the tortures would be perpetual, and the states in the highest degree deplorable, by reason of the cruelty in which they are. So great is the multitude of such, that it can scarcely be credited; and very many are from the Church. They are destructive, even of the human race. They obsess the interiors of man, and inspire everything filthy and nefarious.


CONCERNING INFLUX. ((Influx is rarely manifest. But, when spirits who are around, speak about such things as are adverse to the man, and this inflows, it causes an unpleasant, incongruous and sad experience, in great variety. When they speak with each other concerning those things that are agreeable to the man and his disposition, and this inflows, it produces pleasant, cheerful and congruous feelings, in great variety. I often wondered whence such things are; but I was instructed, by much experience, that they are from this source. I spoke with those who induced the unpleasant feeling. They were driven away, and immediately it ceased. Such spirits are in various place - around the head, near at hand and more remote, in the stomach and elsewhere. Thus, it is not their sphere which inflows, but it is speech and the contrary thereto, which they know how to infuse and communicate.))


CONCERNING SIRENS AND IDEAS. It was related above that they [the sirens] produce, by means of wrappings-round, something which they afterwards project from themselves; and, what is wonderful, when they speak, they speak by means of that, and the sound is heard as if from the place where that is, although they are at a great distance from there; nor is any spirit able to know where they are. It sounds as if they are there; yea, indeed, as long as that remains in its place they are safe; they cannot be approached or injured by anyone. Inwardly, within that wrapper, is generally a wand [or staff], by which is signified power. The angels know where they are; and, when they are cast together into hell, then also are those puppets unwrapped, and this quite a long time in a long unbroken line; and, after it has been unwrapped, or unfolded then, first, can they be approached. They are also accustomed to infold themselves in wrappings; and thus, also, they are secure, and cannot be approached by any injury, unless they are first unwrapped.


It was inquired what these wrappings were. They are their ideas, which are variously shaped by them, and are wrapped around in this way; and, when their ideas are thus wrapped up, they themselves are, for anyone's mind or thought consists of ideas. Hence they transport themselves, as it were, into such a puppet; and, when they speak from any quarter, the sound is heard only from that place [where the puppet is], in all respects as though they were there themselves. Hence it is clear, that the ideas of man's thoughts, which are from his affections, are real, because they can thus be transferred. That magic is from the magical hell. Unless the ideas were real, such a thing could never happen. There are those who wrap up other things than wands. Nay, certain of them wrap up any spirits who allow it. Some wrap up obscene things; but such characters are rejected altogether.


They came for many days, and were led down into their hell; at first, into the upper part, then to the side, and afterwards below. They live there in a deplorable condition; for they are no longer able to wander about in the way just described, or to practice their abominable arts against their companions, but are held in check; for there are angels who are set over the hells, through whom the Lord rules them and restrains them according to ends.


4556-1 No. 4555 is omitted from the Latin. Nothing more is involved than an error in numbering.

4563-1 The allusion seems to be to the bunch of nerve-roots called the cauda equina, which is situated at the extremity of the spinal column.

4573-1 This description will suggest to the reader the trick called Ventriloquism.

4574-1 This is as the name appears in the Latin Edition, the Editor of which was unable to decipher the manuscript in this place, to his satisfaction. Dr. Achatius Kahl, however, in his Narratiunculae, conjectures that it may be meant for Anders Loschern von Hertzfeldt, an officer, of German descent, who lived in Sweden in the seventeenth century.

4595-1 Evidently, the spiritual-world equivalent for ventriloquism.

Next: 4601-4650