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

Spiritual Diary


MARVELLOUS THINGS CONCERNING THE MEMORY THAT REMAINS AFTER DEATH. (PORATH AND CEDERSTEDT.) It happened that there was a certain one who had practiced fraud with another (Porath with Swab). He appeared like a great serpent, which coiled itself around the neck of another. He there wriggled himself about. It was terrible to see, -and at length he was pulled away, and it was discovered that he had written to the latter, concerning all the things that ought to have been kept secret, about affairs and about persons. At length, he was detected and explored; and then Cederstedt approached him, and, there, wound something round his foot, next, on both sides of the breast, and at length over the head; and, then, many things which he had done were detected.


It was Porath, who had stolen various sums, from two individuals and from the public. The sums were 5000, R. 2000, 6000, 5000, 20,000, 165, 500, 5000 - a total of about 39,000; which he also confessed, besides many other things, with the circumstances.


Afterwards, were recounted the things which he (Cederstedt) had accepted - which was done quickly, in the space of an hour, even to three and four hundred various things from various persons, all of which were acknowledged, and this so quickly, when pointed out, that the very least details were laid open; even his book was read, word by word, on one page, concerning certain sums which he had received, and which he had written down. In a word, it was amazing to hear each matter recounted in order, in an hour's time, without a mistake. Then all who stood by, even himself, were amazed that such a book of life should be at all possible, wherein the least details of all things should appear opened, and should be recalled. He acknowledged to everything, because he saw all the circumstances.


CONCERNING FORESIGHT AND PROVIDENCE, IN THE MINUTEST MATTERS. Many transactions between me and Charles XII were recounted; and it was then plainly shown, that the Providence of the Lord was in the minutest details, and that all things which were going to happen to him, in life, and after death, were foreseen and provided for. Further, that, unless the state had been changed from favorable into angry, with Charles XII, one [of us] would certainly have perished. This occurred with many circumstances, which it is not allowed to relate. Hence, it was evident, that, with the Lord, all things are present, and that providence is in the minutest details of all things.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE TURNED INTO ANIMALS, AND CONCERNING A CITY. In the other life, there appear animals of various kinds, for instance, sheep, horses, serpents; also camels and elephants. These were seen, and appeared like living ones in the earths; and some wondered whence this was, whether there was life in them, or whether they were so created, there. It was afterwards manifested that they were societies of spirits, to which such animals correspond - as, for instance, those who are in general knowledge, to elephants and camels - which appeared thus. A dog was, as it were, dragged down from top to bottom, and then those societies which returned thence to their own place, appeared. In order that I might know of what quality their state is, there was then seen a certain one who was an acquaintance of mine in the world, who was evil (Cederholm). At first, he was seen as an infant; after this as a venomous serpent, which twisted itself around in various ways; and the next moment he appeared in his own form; again, a second time as a serpent; and he was then asked how he at that time appeared to himself. He said that he was in thought how he might rule others, by saying such things concerning others as were to their prejudice, in order that he might thus arrive, by craftiness, at the rule whereto he aspired. Hence it was evident, that, when they are put into states of their ruling life, they then appear to themselves, indeed, as men, but in the light of heaven, as serpents: others, as other animals. I saw, also, certain ones as birds. Thus they do not appear such to themselves, but to others. Their progressions and movements are changes of state, because these appear in this manner.


Houses, and many other things, are affections, which, in visible form, appear thus. The varieties of affections may be estimated from styles of construction, and also from streets; from the form of the buildings, and from the surfaces around, mountainous, marshy, etc. Wherefore, those who are in a like affection dwell together, and this constantly.


A noble horse was seen; and he was running swiftly back and forth - (Rhydelius) - and then he was seen by others as a horse, and this for a considerable time and frequently. He was asked how he seemed to himself. He said that, to himself, he remained without such a form. In his own chamber, he seemed a man as before. He said that he had not noticed any such appearance; but that he was then in thought concerning the understanding and the will: that, to the latter, pertained love and good, and to the former faith and truth, and that they were like flame and light, and were associated: further, that, at the first appearance, the truth of faith was in the first place, but that, in another state, it was good.


CONCERNING THE DWELLING OF THE INTELLIGENT, AND CONCERNING THE HORSES AND CHARIOTS THERE. A certain one desired to see the dwellings of the intelligent, because he heard that horses and chariots appear there. It was (Rhydelius). He also came thither, and, at first, saw nothing else, in the whole region, but chariots with horses; and, when his eyes were opened, he saw men there, walking. He said that, previously, there appeared to him chariots with horses. They said that so also it appears to them, sometimes; and that the chariots with horses are the doctrinals of charity, concerning which they think and speak together; but that the reason they are the doctrinals of charity, was because they [i. e., the speakers] belonged to the ancient churches when those doctrinals prevailed. When he meditated on this, they saw him as a horse running swiftly and returning, although he stood quietly. The wise ones there told him that they saw that he was in faith alone; for he was a small fleet horse, and not a chariot. They also saw, from his dress, what his function was. Afterwards, when he departed, he entered a chamber where was a tree with fruits; he plucked a branch thereof, which he carried with him. It was a small bunch of grapes. Hence, they knew that there was also something of good in him, because a sound grape is the affection of truth.


CONCERNING GOOD WITH ONE WHO ROBBED AND MISLED, AND CONCERNING ANGELS OF LIGHT WHO ARE NOT CLOTHED IN A WEDDING GARMENT. A certain one, who, in the life of the body, was an acquaintance of mine, was in heaven with those who were intelligent. From them, he was able to perceive, with exceeding accuracy, the things which were in others, their disposition and genius, and, likewise, present it to view - which, also, he did. I supposed that he was an angel; but it was afterwards proved that he was a devil. There was a certain one who lost his way; and there then appeared a certain one with a good face wherein nothing evil and false was apparent. He had a slender club under the left arm, wherewith, on seeing the wanderer, he approached and at once furiously attacked him, and wished to rob him. He also took out a sword that was in a scabbard, attached to some garment - which conduct was indefensible. It was then shown that he was the one who was in heaven; and he was afterwards examined, and it was discovered that he was not in interior good; so that he had appeared, to everyone, good, just, righteous and true, when, yet, under this, he was a robber; and it was ascertained, that, in life, he deceived under such an outward appearance: further, that he accounted adulteries a matter of no moment, and did filthy things; likewise, that he did not believe in any God, and, therefore, had not been of any religion. All these things were shown before the angels, and, afterwards, that he had association with the angels in heaven by exterior good in himself; and that thus he could be retained in heaven. He also knew the truths of faith, but from memory. He was then cast forth towards the right side, over Gehenna, and afterwards elsewhere, and thus into hell. It was said that such are the worst of all, because they can deceive almost the interior angels. This also appeared from the fact, that, when he was cast out, the angels from whom the influx into his good proceeded, began to lament that a good man should be cast out and thrown into hell.


Then also appeared others, many of the female sex, at the right, at a rather great distance, in the plane of the sole, who inflowed into the inmost members of generation, and who likewise have been such as appeared good and chaste, and yet were evil and altogether filthy.


There appeared, for a long time, on the left, at a distance above, in the plane of the crown of the head, those who have likewise been of such a nature as to inflow into man's members of generation, and, as it were, bind them with a cord let down from themselves there, and so unite themselves; whereby was signified the inmost of love with those, whom, nevertheless, they misled in such a manner that they were able not only to deceive them, but also to lead them whithersoever they would; for conjunction and the stroking of the genitals by others, represents the pretence of affection for another, and so insinuation by feigning the loves which are with anyone - by means of which arts they are seduced and led whithersoever it is pleased. The above-mentioned spirits [did this] more completely and interiorly; for they have altogether bound themselves [to the latter]. But both the women and the men were thrown into hell; for these latter were bound with their cord and thrown into hell, thus.


CONCERNING ONE GOD, AND NATURE. THAT STATES PRODUCE DISTANCE - NEGATION ABSENCE; AND, SO, CONFIRMATION PRESENCE. THAT FAITH CONJOINS. In such a state as that in which spirits are, and then wholly like them with a human body and human senses, I was in an apartment; and there were many in another apartment; and there also appeared books. I looked at one book, which was written with letters like the ancient Hebrew; but I immediately closed it and looked at another. Then I spoke with one of those at the table. The rest lay down by the walls. I said that I am in the world, and, yet, at the same time, in the other life. I touched him, and he felt it; I also said that the man that lives after death is within the man [that lives in the world.] Because he believed this, he appeared entirely present; but the rest, who lay down by the walls, banished as to their heads; so that there was no appearance, at last, except like a shadow in their place. I afterwards heard that they did not believe what I said, and that therefore they appeared as though they had vanished, or were absent; for the idea of one man enters fully into [the mind] of another, where it is affirmatively received; and thus they appear present according to agreement and affirmation: so that the ideas of thought which are not received produce absence; that is, negation does.


From these things, it may be apparent how the case stands with faith in the Lord. To those who believe in the Lord, according to the truths of faith, the Lord is in presence, that is, is present and has His abode with them. But to those who do not believe, the Lord is absent, because He cannot be seen by the thought, nor recognized by the affection. Concerning those, the Lord says that He does not confess them because they do not confess Him.


I also spoke, at that time, with certain ones in a city, to which they proceeded over a long, level bridge. Certain prelates came; and I spoke with them concerning the Lord, that in Him is a perfect Trine, which was also shown from the Word, and that, therefore, God is one, not several, as He is in the thought of those who divide Him into persons. Thereupon, the elders there said that they acknowledge one God, but only the Father; and that they name the Son and Holy Spirit, but do not think of these as of Gods; but they were asked, whether they had any idea concerning the Father? It was perceived that they had no other, than, as it were, of an infinite universe, without boundary; but it was said that thought cannot then be determined and fixed, still less the affection. The simple said that they wished to have a God of whom they can think, and who receives their thoughts, and by whom they can be affected with love; and that they can by no means do so, if God, in the idea, is such as a universe without a boundary. It was further shown that this idea falls wholly into nature; and thus the acknowledgment of God perishes. Then it was shown, that, when they thought concerning nature in general, the idea fell into a similar notion with that they entertain about God whereof I have written before; so that, to them, nature is God.


IRON FIRE-TONGS - WHO APPEAR THUS. WHAT ROTATION IS, AND COAL. A certain one, of whom I have spoken above, on a former page, who carried a wooden club under the arm and robbed, was led out of hell, and spoke with another, and likewise demeaned himself like a good, just and righteous man. They walked together. Then there met them a certain one, who blamed the first one because he had deceived, and this under the guise of sincerity and good, and because he had squandered those things which he had obtained on loan. And then he seemed, as it were, to be revolved, and in the midst of the circumrotation there was, as it were, a coal almost ignited, and then not visible; but it immediately re-appeared, and he said that he was terrified by a certain one, who had loudly upbraided and threatened him; and that he was angry. The coal in the middle, almost ignited, was his internal anger; and the circumrotation like a wheel was his apparent justice and sincerity. He afterwards seemed like a pair of iron tongs, wherewith they take up coals of fire, and so was cast into hell; for it was known that he deceived, under a show of sincerity, and that he was able to deceive all there.


Then I bethought me, that, as often as I have touched the iron tongs with which coals of fire were moved, so often was I conscious, that, from some, there came, as it were [the knowledge] that they wished to strike the Lord therewith, and this frequently even to indignation; and that this proceeded from such characters, namely, those who, in external form, behave themselves sincerely, justly and uprightly, so far as [to obtain] the confidence of another, and yet still deceive: they never return, nor think of returning a loan; thus they care nothing for stealing, if they dare to do it; they account adulteries as of no moment, and do not believe God to be anything - nor such things as belong to the Church.


CONCERNING THE STATE OF SPIRITS RELATIVELY TO THE STATE OF MEN. THEIR REFLECTIONS. The state of spirits relatively to the state of men, appears similar at first glance, but yet it differs greatly. They think, indeed, similarly, and will similarly, but they are different as to reflections. Man in the world reflects from his corporeal memory, but spirits from the interior memory. When a man sees another, he reflects upon all that he had heard and has experienced concerning the person; and acknowledges him as friend and companion with whom he has associated, and, for various reasons, entered into friendship. But not so spirits. They acknowledge as friend him who is like themselves; for an acquaintance, everyone who receives their ideas; but this with much variety, and whether they have been acquainted or not. Man reflects upon the various things wherewith he may array, and with which he does array himself; and this variously. Neither do spirits do this. Garments are given them according to their state; and they do not know whence and at what time, nor do they care. Man knows of what sort is his house, his rooms, his halls, and many things, also the furniture. Spirits, indeed, are similarly circumstanced; but when their surroundings are changed, when new things are given them, when they are provided with furniture, they rarely reflect from whence, and when, these things came. But it is different with one spirit to what it is with another. Likewise, when he comes into another place he does not know where he had been before, thus does not turn back from the former to the latter, as does man. In a word, reflections are circumstanced according to the states in which they are, who are in the other life, and they who are in the world. In respect to reflections, so many things occur that they cannot be described; but, still, they have a wakefulness and life, though, on account of the differences of reflections, it differs greatly [with spirits] from the wakefulness and life of man. With evil spirits, it is altogether obscure, for they know nothing save to act from the propensity of evil; but it is otherwise with the good, because these think and act from an intellectual ground. The angels think and act in a far more excellent manner than men, although they are not so well acquainted with the state of man as to be able to institute a comparison. The principal cause, is, that they have no memory of the past, as regards such things as are external, but as regards such things as are internal, thus which are of faith and eternal life; but, from whence, or how, these things are learned, they do not remember. In this they are like infants who learn and know not how.


THAT THE FACES OF MEN ARE ALTERED IN THE OTHER LIFE. I saw two who were good, and known to me in the world (Moraeus and Bjerchenius). They appeared with quite another face than before; and I was asked whether I recognized the latter. I said, No; and conjectured, and at last it was discovered that it was Bjerchenius. He had a bright, comely human face. He seemed in a chariot that was half open, because he was then mediating about the doctrine of charity. The reason is, because, then, good conjoined with truth fashions the face; for every angel and good spirit is the form of his formed good.


But they that are evil, successively throw off the human form; and, as to the face, when beheld in the light of heaven, they do not appear like men, but like monsters, of various deformity. The reason is, because good conjoined with truth by the Lord, form the angelic heaven into the likeness of a man; wherefore, all who are there, are images of that likeness, according to the quality of their good. The inwardly evil in hell throw off the human form, and appear as monsters, according to the quality of their evil.


CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL AND CELESTIAL, IN RESPECT TO CONJUGIAL LOVE. Conjugial love with the spiritual begins from externals, thus from a certain lasciviousness: they love nakedness, and it excites them. At length, indeed, externals vanish; but, then, conjugial love, in its effect, is wont to cease. It is otherwise with the celestial: with them, conjugial love begins from internals, thus from the conjunction of minds: and they do not regard nakedness - just as in the torrid zones, where the natives see each other naked, but yet love none but their own married partners. The celestial also appear naked in the other life, and the spiritual clothed. The latter are lascivious from their natural constitution in the world, but not so the former. I was informed by them that such is the case; and, moreover, the reason is, because the voluntary faculty is not destroyed to such an extent with the celestial as with the spiritual. The celestial love from this, which is the inmost of man; but the spiritual from the intellectual part, which is relatively external; thence it is, that their disposition, in the beginning, is lascivious. Hence also it is evident, that the state of the celestial is the inverse of that of the spiritual.


CONCERNING THE DARK CHAMBER, ITS QUALITY, AND THE QUALITY OF THOSE IN IT. There appeared, again, the dark chamber, where many sit at a table and acknowledge the president for Supreme God. They adore him, and deliberate concerning various things, even in religious matters, as, for example, whether there is another God, whether there is a heaven and hell, whether there is conscience, and the like; and they conclude in the negative. They are such as have acknowledged nature for God, and committed evils, without conscience, and have, at the same time, excelled in thought. They are from ministers, and from many others. But it was discovered, when some light was let in from heaven, of what character that chamber is; that it is a sepulchre, and that there are coffins there, wherein are corpses, and that they sit on these: some upon the corpses themselves, there, and some sit upon the bones. They also appear, in that light, like ghastly corpses. The reason is, because they adore what is dead, and deny what is living; hence no communication with heaven can be given them. They are like fools, in that they do not know other than that they are endowed with great genius, and that their president is the Supreme God.


CONCERNING PROFANERS. There was opened, on one side, a certain chamber, inwardly plastered with something snowy. It was constructed of brick-work, but plastered. A bed appeared by the wall there. He who was there seemed like nothing else than some bony, black, charred thing, from which there rose, along the wall, a black vapor. He who was there was a profaner. The covering which is outside of the charred, black body appears white. The interior part was such a black vapor as this was also like; he was, moreover, cast into another place.


CONCERNING MECHANICIANS. POLHEM. That mechanician, inasmuch as, in the life of the body, he constantly mediated how to construct moving machines, and succeeded therein above others, because he was endowed with such a genius, had, in the life of the body, confirmed himself in the belief that there was no God; that everything was from nature; that the living [soul] in man and beast is something mechanical, which, being filled with air, is thus formed according to its nature and the laws of order; and that those creatures thence live. He did not wish to know what is the life after death, what the internal man, what heaven and hell, what the Divine is other than dead nature, what Providence is other than the blind fate of nature and chance. He had confirmed himself against these. But, because the imaginative power which he possessed in the body still remains, therefore, he learns and teaches, there, how various things can be created, such as birds, mice, cats, also human infants. He does this by a working-up and formation of some mass, and then, by means of ideas of thoughts, there thence appear such things. For, in the other life, thought can represent such things with anyone; but it is a something aerial that appears thus, and nothing real. He was shown that all others, by means of imagination and phantasy, can present a similar effect, and that this is child's play: but, still, he continues, as if stupid, to fashion such things, and new ones, from his mass. He, also, was in the dark chamber, and showed his art; and he was also seen in the dark chamber sitting upon the dead bones which were in the coffin. This, also, was because he was of such a character that he had not acknowledged what was living, but what was dead.


BABYLON. CONCERNING THE INSANITY OF THE EVIL FROM THE LOVE OF SELF, THAT THEY SUPPOSE THEMSELVES GODS, YEA, GOD THE FATHER. They who have been in the highest self-love in the world, and have ruled, such as popes, cardinals, mufti, and similar ones elsewhere, believe themselves gods in the other life. They wish to be called gods, like him who is president in the dark chamber. To what a pitch this insanity grows, seemed wonderful. These are they who place their seat, as it were, on a very high mountain, which is in their midst, and believe themselves to be God the Father, and send, as the Son, someone, whom they call the Son, to execute their commands. One was seen by me, as if on the top of the mountain, with a large snowy beard; and thus he governed - but he was cast down into hell, and then succeeded another. It is Lucifer, on the mount of Assembly (Isaiah 14). 4723-1 Above him, is kept, by the evil, a certain one like an angel flying, being provided with wings, whom they call the Holy Spirit.


CONCERNING FAITH AND LOVE. There appeared many spirits; and I spoke with the one just mentioned, and then he appeared clearly; but the rest began to disappear as to their heads. This was so, because he who appeared clearly, affirmed and believed what I said; but the rest, who disappeared as to their heads, did not affirm, consequently, did not believe. Hence it was evident, how it is with faith in the Lord: that the Lord appears to those who believe and affirm, and is conjoined with them by means of love or charity; for faith is not given, consequently not the appearance of the Lord, unless there is love or charity; for this receives faith, and presence and conjunction is thence.


The Lord can, indeed, appear, even to those that are not in love, thus to those who are in persuasive faith; but it is an imaginative, not a real appearance.


THAT I WAS IN THE STATE OF SPIRITS. Twice or thrice I was let into the state in which spirits are, so that I was a spirit with spirits, thus without an earthly body: and I have then been with spirits and spoken with them, have seen them, and have examined how much their life differs from the life of man. They had a similar face, similar body, even similar clothing and similar speech. I spoke with them concerning this matter, and stated that I was a man in the world and at the same time a spirit among spirits, and that they were ignorant, when they lived in the world, that there would be such a life after death. They heard, they answered, they joined in conversation; some of them have forgotten that they have been men, but still have been led to the recollection of it - for they who are there for any great time, at length forget the life in the world. They who have died in infancy do not know about it, but they are shown. I saw their habitations there, the cities and streets; I have gone about with them, I have surveyed everything, and then I have grieved that they even spoke with me. How ignorant the man of the Church is because he does not know this; and if he hears that it is so, he does not believe, for the reason, first, because he does not in heart believe in a life after death; second, because he believes that his life is the life of the body, and that there is not an interior man, by which he lives; third, furthermore, because he cannot believe that his soul after death is like a man, still less that it is a man, as to the face and the whole body.


CONCERNING THE FAITH OF WOLF. There was a certain one very celebrated in the world of letters, who had written very much, even on theological matters. He was at first naturalistic; but when, afterwards, he was admonished, he turned round, and pretended to piety and confession of faith from the heart, to such a degree, that they knew no other than that he was a good converted Christian. But that he only did this with the mouth, and the contrary in the heart, is evident from his confession before good spirits in the other life, where he was reduced into such a state that he should speak from his thought which he had in the world, and not from simulation. He then confessed that he never believed in any God, but that nature was everything. He said his reasons were, first, that God is never seen nor heard, but that He is in secret, and this for ages; and that if there were a God, he should present himself to the sight of men, so that they might believe: second, that nothing of Divine Providence appears: third, that the soul is nothing but breath, which exists thus from the interior organisms, which being dead the soul also is dissipated, because that is only like an atmospheric affair: fourth, that brute animals also think, and will too, and some of them more dexterously and intelligently than man, as, for instance, the bear, dogs, mice, foxes; and what differs is so little that it is scarcely worthy to be mentioned. It is as to speech, which they do not have because they have not such an organism [as man]; but still parrots and the like speak, and they know what they say: fifth, that the last judgment has been expected in vain for so many ages, and that it is false that the stars will then fall from heaven upon the earth, because they are larger than the earth, and that the sun which still sits unmoved in the center will do likewise, besides other things of a similar kind. He admitted these things in the presence of good spirits, although he had spoken otherwise [in the world]. Hence it is evident of what quality are the learned of the world, and that the most learned are atheists, and that they confirm themselves more than the rest, according to the greater knowledge which they possess, greater self-confidence and greater abundance of confirmations of the false; so that learning is, to them, a means of becoming insane. It was said to him that [in the world] he did not believe that he was going to live after death, but that he now perceives that he lives, and that he formerly thought falsely in this respect.


His followers, with himself, operated into my tongue, and infused an effort to bite it, which is a proof that they spoke according to the confession of faith, but that inwardly they were devils, to wit, in love of self and the world. He was especially in love of money apart from its use, thus in a filthy evil; moreover, in self-love, for he wished to be greeted "the light of Europe." But he was told that he comes among fools and simpletons; for the doctrine of faith, which he confessed with the mouth and denied in the heart, is wholly taken away from him, and he is left to his evil. Inasmuch as he did not wish to believe this, he was told, that, by confession of the mouth, he is associated with good spirits who are in the ultimate of the order of heaven, for they believe that men are of such a sort as they say - they affirm that it cannot be thought otherwise; on the other hand, that by denial of God, and of all the things of faith, he is associated with hell; and that, thus, he is between heaven and hell, and that by good spirits he is elevated above hell, and that the infernals also employ him as an instrument for injuring the good. Lest this should be effected, the knowledge of truth from the Word and doctrine is taken from him, and he is left to his evil, and so is cast into hell.


WHAT [IS SIGNIFIED BY] A LITTLE DOG ON THE SHOULDERS. There appeared over a woman (Maria Polhem) known to me in the life of her body - over her shoulders - a small dog which went around from one shoulder to the other, and also licked her lips. I was instructed that it signified that she placed the sum of civil life in elegance and the preparation of viands; so that, from the refinements of luxury in the preparation of viands, such a dog appeared, and it signified this.


THAT FACES ARE CHANGED. I was shown some acquaintances that I had in the life of the body. At first, for some time, they appeared with a similar face to what they enjoyed in the world, for the reason that they were then in the same state as to externals, as they were in, in the life of the body. But they were next shown, when externals were removed. Then those who have been interiorly good were seen with another face, and indeed with a more youthful, fair and delightful one, and this according to the interior. But they who have been evil were seen with a hideous face. It was hardly a face, but rather a beard, or bundle of teeth, or otherwise monstrous; for each relates to man, according to the truths and goods of faith and love, and contrariwise.


THAT ALL WHO ARE OF A SIMILAR CHARACTER ARE RECOGNIZED, NO MATTER WHAT FACE THEY HAVE. In the other life, friendships and intimacies are not made by relationships or interaction, but similitudes of mind produce such things; wherefore, when anyone appears, he is at once known as a friend or as an enemy, from likeness or unlikeness. The reason is, because all the thought of one is communicated to another, and the affection of thought fashions the face; hence it [i. e., the face] is known to those who are similar, and unknown to those who are dissimilar. When they speak together, if the communication is not received [in the proper manner], but is received in a different way, by another, or is not believed, the one addressed begins to be invisible as to the face, and, afterwards, when he believes, returns. Likewise, the thoughts of another are even represented by the objects in their place, or around them. Spirits and angels do not attend to these things, because it is from order in the other life; and that which happens according to order is like a familiar thing, which is not thought about.


A GOLDEN AND A SILVER HEART, AND SILVER SWORDS. Good spirits [are such] as have not yet become angels, because they cannot but often come in contact with evil spirits, who constantly attempt to produce evils. The number of such [evil spirits] is very great; and the evils which they produce are innumerable, as to genera and species. Those who are good, and interiorly angels, have given to them a breast-plate, which is, as it were, a larger form of heart, made of gold. When the evil, or robbers, meet them, and they draw aside their garments and show the golden heart, the robbers dare not do anything. Those who confess the Lord, are given a breastplate of gold; but beforehand, while as yet they acknowledge Three Persons, their breast-plate is of silver.


And there is also given to them a sword with a silver hilt, together with a belt. When they carry that sword, evil spirits dare do nothing. The golden heart, and the sword with the silver hilt, are representative of interior angelic consociations.


THE DWELLINGS OF THE ROBBERS. Round about, there are cities here and there; and, in other places, appear marshes or swamps, and also numerous ruins of houses. There, the dwelling of the evil are. Evil spirits dwell in holes and darksome places, to which there is descent by steps. The places there are shrouded in darkness; and, when spirits, missing their way, come thither, they are approached by those robbers; but those that are good are liberated immediately. Those who miss their way, for the most part, come to such places, and suppose, at that time, that there is a way through them into the cities; but they mistake. The deeper the places are, the darker they are, and the worse are the robbers there. There are some who have been in considerable dignity during the life of the body, amongst that crew; for their interior delight, when they lived in the world, was to plunder and rob. But they were there restrained by laws, and by fears, on account of profit and honors, of the loss of reputation.


CONCERNING SPIDERS. There was seen, connected with the web of a spider, a thread, which extended, on high, into the interior heaven. This thread was drawn down; and there followed it a diabolical spirit, who appeared to angelic sight like a great, dreadful spider, which, when drawn down, lay upon a stone, and was beheld; and then more than half of his head was crushed with the heel (that is. . .), and the rest of the head was crushed by the end of a staff, so that [the spider] seemed altogether crushed and destroyed. This was upon the stone.


Then it was said and shown who those are - that, namely, they are those who learn arts for elevating themselves towards the interior heaven, which happens chiefly by means of the habit of entering into the minds of others and almost filling them; and this, even to the point of thinking like them. Especially do they learn the truths of faith; and they learn to enter into the affection of truth, by holding the thoughts in those things a long time, but this with the constant purpose of deceiving, mocking and ruling: thus [their purpose] is full of craftiness, deceit and malice. By means of such things, they insinuate themselves among the angels of heaven; and these are the ones who [insinuate themselves] into the societies of the interior heaven. They are Wellingians.


But this is permitted by the Lord, in order that such spirits may be with those societies, for the sake of infusing opposite things, such as tempt, which the societies ought to shake off - hence, for the sake of strengthening the sphere of truth and good, and extending it. The angels said that they are, also, sometimes observed; and that they sit in corners, and sometimes they appear and sometimes not; and that they cannot be dislodged, before the time of their casting down arrives.


CONCERNING THE NORTH, AND THOSE WHO DWELL THERE. I was brought over to those that dwell afar towards the north; and it was seen that there was there a large continuous building, built of stone coated with lime of a grayish color, and divided into apartment. The apartments were uncovered, or without a roof. This building was extensive both in length and breadth; and there were temples, also, in another, or upper part, also uncovered, and likewise of plastered stone. There was a crowd there, outside of the temple, leaping and performing unholy dances. At a very great distance in the north, there appeared a small apartment composed of wooden rafters, with a roof. This was in the uttermost boundary. Those who are there, are those who have been in natural truth, and in that, or according to it, have lived a good life.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO ENTER INTO ALL THE AFFECTIONS OF MAN, AND DESTROY THEM (GYLLENBORG). There was a certain one, who, while I slept, about morning, drove away, in a moment, two angels and one who leaned nearer to me; and, then, he assailed me, seizing the genitals with the hand, and wishing thus to destroy me; but I held my hand above them. Then I awaked, and asked who it was. He spoke, and said that he was Frederic Gyllenborg. I also supposed it was; but it was one of the genii that was similar to him. He was compelled to speak and divulge what art he employed. He said that he sits on the wood (of the Lord's cross) in His sepulchre, in the rock of Mount Olivet; and that he then sits immovable, so that neither angel nor devil could move him away from thence. He had produced such things for himself by phantasy. He added, that, when he descends into the sepulchre, there come several spirits; and he employs them to drive off good spirits and angels from everyone. He confessed this; and these are they who are of such a quality as F. G., although, because he had been among pietists, he still thinks about heaven, about the life after death, about God and about Providence, very sanely, and speaks more so - and, then, with persuasive faith, by which means he enters into the affections of the good - but, for the sake of deceiving. And still he has no conscience, although either his country should perish, or his neighbors be snatched away or murdered on his account, he having, for his only end, rule over all, and gain by means of rule. He now [seeks this] by powerful means.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN PEOPLE IN THE UNIVERSE, AND CONCERNING CHARLES XII. There was a certain one, who had been the most obstinate of mortals of this earth (Charles XII). He was so obstinate that he was never willing to desist from his purpose, but would remain in it, though be should suffer either the cruelest death or the most atrocious hell; and, when he concluded to do evil, he was also able to confirm his stubborn purpose by such things as appeared to spring from an end not evil in itself: as, for example, when he wished to deflower any virgin, and this by secret violence, he invented [for a pretext] that he wished to be liberated from that evil, and that if it could not happen otherwise, he would be let down into another hell: he appeared as if he wished this. Hence his apparent end, according to this, was, that he wished to become better; but, yet, he remained most persistently in that diabolical evil. So, also, when he lived in the world, and lost his country and all who were in it by obeying Gjortz, he said that he wished well to the country: he was not willing to see that such was not the case, but that he most obstinately remained in the purpose never to desist, before he was brought to such extremities that nothing remained. This was shown, and, also, that, in itself, it was diabolical: he believed, however, that this must be the glory of his country; but it was shown that he ought to be considered as insane.


It was shown with which spirits he communicated, namely, [with spirits] from two societies; from one of which are Cerulean spirits who are from the planet Jupiter, and are good. They have for an end, that they may be continually perfected. These spirits are good, of such a quality also as Charles XII himself when in a good state; then, he altogether wished nothing else but truth. The other society was in the universe, not far from those Ceruleans, namely, on the right side, at a distance. They are such as are, of all, the most obstinate, so that they never desist from a resolution once taken, whether it is good, or bad, and yet they think according to the truth. These were those with whom he communicated for such obstinacy does not exist within the limits of this planet.


There came one to me from those in the universe. He was a short, gross man, with a round felt hat. It was said by the angels that he was thence, and that they are of the most obstinate character, but, still, such that they are alternately in hell and in a world of brightness. They were compared to marshflies that fly upwards, in troops, and afterwards are in the marsh. It was said that they have no knowledge of any God; but that they call the light, which they see when they are above, God, and the darkness, when below, the devil thus that they acknowledge truth as God, and the false as the devil - as also he (Charles XII) did. Afterwards, there came a certain one, the same I have mentioned, with a bowl of liquid in his hand, and threw the liquid towards me. It was immediately dissipated. They said, that, in a certain place, they drink such a liquid, which they could not designate; and that they throw it at spirits, when they are in their obstinacy and stubbornness: if, then, those spirits receive it, that is a sign that they should not desist from [their purpose]; but, if they do not receive, that is a sign that they should desist. Consequently, that they thus explore contumacies there.


CONCERNING THE LEARNED WHO HAVE PLACED LEARNING ONLY IN SUCH THINGS AS SUBSERVE INTELLIGENCE AND NOT IN INTELLIGENCE ITSELF. CONCERNING CHRISTIAN WOLF. I was conscious of a certain one, from whom there emanated a sphere like clouds of dust; and when it entered into the nostrils, it was like that dust, involving somewhat of suffocation; and he spoke slowly, with a certain gravity. They said that he sat earnestly meditating in his seat; and it was said that it was Wolf, in that state. He was then forwards, in the plane of the sole of the left foot. That he was perceived of such a character, is, because, in the world, he had studied only such things as are instrumental causes, or means for acquiring understanding - such as mathematics, physics, philosophical studies, logic - wherein he had placed wisdom, but not in the truths themselves of nature, still less in the truths of faith, which, therefore, he had not believed. They who thus study possess such a sphere; and they also appear, to the sight, as chimney-sweeps.


CONCERNING THE INFERNAL MARRIAGE. There was a certain one, who, in the world, was the most stubborn and obstinate of all men, so that he was never willing to recede from his purpose, even if he should be deprived of life; and it was only when reduced to extremities, that he was willing to yield (Charles XII). He had for a wife, in the other life, one who was of a similar disposition, but more stubborn than he. It was shown, at first by means of a knife which he twice or thrice swallowed in her presence, that he held her in deadly hatred, and then by his inserting the knife in her back, plucking out her heart and gnawing it for a long time, frothing very much about the mouth. She saw this; and, then, she, also, being filled with devils, exercised her stubbornness, and was more stubborn than he, and regarded not life, or any torture; and, finally, she brought the matter to such a pass that he began to obey, till at length he was subdued (Coion), and kissed her unclean lower parts, out of obedience, and then praised her, because she was his ruler. They were disturbed, a long time, by the collisions they kept up in their deadly hatreds. At length, he dares not do anything against her, because she reduced him to subjection by her greater stubbornness. Hence it may be evident of what character is the infernal marriage, when they who are in such hatred are conjoined through the control [of one over the other]. Such are the marriages of all who reduce their married partner to subjection by stubbornness; and then, at the same time, they live in externals as if in friendship, but in internals they are in deadly hatred. It was said that she was obsessed by female devils who have thus subjugated their husbands - principally by Dutch women. It was shown that it is permitted to such to hold each other in deadly hatred, until they feel such delight in that marriage, that they can almost be united as one; for each feels the delight of dominion in the other; and, since one has contributed thereto with the other, it is that delight which is felt.


THAT THE LIFE AFTER DEATH IS THE LIFE OF THE INTERNAL MAN: AND WHAT THE QUALITY OF SELF-LOVE IS. I have been instructed by much experience, that they who, as to external life, appear, from their acts, bearing and speech to be moral and Christian, and yet, as to internal life, think ill, namely, from self and the world, continually, become devils in the other life; and, on the other hand, the those who, as to external life, appeared proud and despisers of the neighbor, and yet, as to internal life, were righteous and blameless, come into heaven in the other life; for, in the other life, externals are, by degrees, put off, and internals remain; for the veriest life of man, where are his love, ends and will, is in the internal man.


A manifest example of those who have been interiorly in self-love, and externally affable and virtuous, was (Charles XII). He was interiorly the proudest of all in the universal world: nor did he aspire to the greatest name in his kingdom only, but in the universal globe, which also he wished to govern; and, in some manner, he supposed himself to be interiorly a God. He could think interiorly, better than other men; even in every accident and in danger, his interior thoughts were most sagacious. He saw every single circumstance about him at one glance; he inwardly collated them and concluded rightly; nor was he willing that anyone should know this: he pretended, exteriorly, that he could not think interiorly. He was indignant if anyone said he possessed sagacious thought inwardly. To act thus he considered kingly; and he accustomed himself to do so continually. This was his interior life; and, in it, he thought concerning his dominion over all, in all things and in every detail; also that this was divine; and he believed, not that God is interiorly within that life, but that God is in men, especially in himself; and so he had no regard for religion. He praised the Mohammedan religion above the Christian, and said the latter religion was only for the simple; and, if he had been able, he would also have been willing to introduce natural religion, suited to the apprehension of all naturalistic persons. He also placed the kingly quality in stubbornness, even to the death; and, in that matter, he was fierce and cruel, having no regard for man's life. He could invent excuses which could not be again said; and then he was in the persuasion that the thing was in such wise, and in itself right, because it was from his internal thought. Nobody knew these things in the world, unless something of it by conjecture. He counterfeited justice and truth more perfectly than any other man; but all these things were laid open in the other life. He was there taken out of a dreadful hell and let into the state of his external man; and then he behaved himself virtuously, justly and truly; but, as soon as he came into his internal state of life, such things showed themselves as were dreadfully diabolical. He could see, in a moment, more things around him than others, no matter who they were; he could dispose these to assist him, so that he might rule; and this not only in the hells, but also in the first and second heaven, which [latter] he attracted to himself by means of the external man, and its just and true features, and likewise, at the same time, its persuasiveness. In a word, he sought hells which should obey him, and in heaven such things as might also assist him in his purpose of reducing all to subjection and of making himself the supreme God - whom he had believed not to exist, unless [He were] such men [as himself]. To relate the details would fill pages. He raved in this way for a week, that it might be shown to the angels of what quality he was, and of what quality they are who have acquired to themselves such an internal life in the world. He was present in his internal, diabolical life, more when in punishments and judgments than when out of punishments and judgment. He was told that were there myriads of myriads of such as he, they would not weigh, even as a feather, with the Lord; but he cared nothing about this. He wished to become the devil himself, and ruler of hell, and then to enter into a compact with those in heaven and with the Divine there as to power; but with the end in view that he might rule all things in hell, and that those in heaven might obey him: if otherwise, that he would reduce them to subjection. Such was his quality. Hence it was evident of what nature was the internal life, which was his ruling life; and that he is become a devil above the rest, and is then a fool above the rest.


There was another whose exteriors were full of haughtiness, but his interiors good. It was (Ericus Benzelius). 4749-1 He, in the world, placed himself before all others; he despised all others in comparison with himself, except one who excelled him in memory; he placed everything learned and wise in memory; he was in the doctrine of the Church from memory and not from himself; and, being of such a character, he was not permitted to defile his internal. He at first suffered hardships in the other life. There appeared about the cerebrum, as it were a bony skin, which was several times broken with great pain; and then he was brought into his interiors, which were good, and was then like an infant. He was instructed, by angels, in a mode accommodated to him.


It could hence be evident of what quality is self-love for Charles XII was interiorly in self-love beyond all men, and had imbued it in life and doctrine; in that, namely, first, he not only wished to subjugate hell and become the greatest devil; but also, secondly, to subjugate heaven and place his throne above the Divine; thirdly, wholly to deny the Divine, and to believe it no other than that, in man, which thinks and wills, thus man; fourthly, in that [all such] thus root out God Himself from their hearts, and deny Him, so as to sentence, as it were, to death, those that deliberately affirm a God - which, also, he himself did in a dreadful manner, when he heard a certain one do so; and fifthly, in that he denies all things of good and truth, thus all things of faith and charity. Such are those, the life of whose internal man is self-love.


4723-1 The allusion here is to Isaiah 14:13. The Latin Editor read Isaiah 12.

4749-1 Dr. Achatius Kahl, in his Narratiunculoe (page 9) and the Rev. Prof. R. L. Tafel, in his Documents (Vol. I., p. 608) consider this Ericus Benzelius to be younger of the two men who bore that name.

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