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 THOSE WHO ARE IN SELF-INTELLIGENCE. There are some who investigate the laws of order in the heavens, and apply them to the commission of evils of many kinds. They know how to institute communication with the heavens; they know, also, how to vary ideas in many ways, and to infest ideas. They know very many other things; but the application of them to evils takes place from self-intelligence; therefore, they are grievously punished. Some of them sit in a lower place, wearing a cap which is drawn down as far as over the eyes - which signifies that they think inwardly, and with considerable clearness, concerning evils that are to come; and their speech issues from between the teeth. These persons are plucked away with great difficulty, for they adjust and abuse all things to the purpose of defending themselves; but yet they are at length vastated, and then they also are put into that darksome pit where Charles XII is.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE DRAGON AND HIS CREW, AND CONCERNING THE FALLING OF SPIRITS FROM THE HEAVENS. For several days, spirits, who are the crew of the dragon, fell down from the heavens and were cast down into hell. Amongst them, were also very many who had believed themselves to be saved by a faith of doctrinals, and in fact by the knowledge of them alone, and have cared nothing at all about the life. They have lived in the evils of the loves of self and of the world, in malice, craftiness, deceits and also adulteries.


Moreover, there were very many who had no doctrine, but merely acknowledged the Word, saying that it is sufficient to read the Word; nor did they care to be enlightened concerning the genuine sense of the Word. Wherefore they were able to apply the Word, so far as regards the external sense, to any heresy whatever that they wished, and thus to defend evils and reject goods. The case would have been otherwise if they had acknowledged doctrine, which, also, is drawn thence, but by the enlightened. Inasmuch as these lived an evil life, their number was immense.


There were also some who have rejected the priestly office, saying that the priesthood is universal, thus with all. Certain of these have read the Word quite diligently, but, inasmuch as they have lived ill, they have taken up thence abominable dogmas. Of this class there are many. These likewise are cast down from heaven, but at the back, because they have preached clandestinely, and have wished to thus subvert the doctrine of the Church by stealth.


CONCERNING ELEVATION TO HEAVEN BY MEANS OF PHANTASIES. Evil spirits have learned to raise themselves upwards by means of phantasies - the mode cannot be described; and when they are there, they see all things that are beneath. Those who are proud elevate themselves to a high position; so also, by execrable arts, do others. The rest go to heaven; but these present themselves there in a moment.


There are also some impious spirits, who are able to project themselves from one heaven into another, and thus cause that no one may know where they are; and then they infest the people who are lower down with their ideas, and bring injury upon them. As soon as these are discovered, they appear elsewhere in heaven, in a moment. This crew is an impious one. In such practices are they trained who knew how to act and write, in various ways, such things as are fictitious and lying, for the purpose of deceiving. Those who have delighted in such an exercise, become of such a character in the other life, and thus also, unseen, they injure others in various ways.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE HEAVENS AND THE HELLS. I was conducted, in spirit, to the right, where are the mountains and rocks of which I have spoken above, and, at length, on to the rocks, and, to a small extent, beneath them. In the rocks dwell those who are in the good of faith; in the mountains around, those who are in the good of charity - who are understood by the "mountains of Israel." Higher up, there, are the celestials, who are the "mountain of Zion," and of Jerusalem. In the depths, there, are various hells: under and amongst the rocks are also the hells of those who are in revenge. Some of these hells are of such a character that they cannot be crossed over; and when I approached, a torpor, and as it were deadness, laid hold of my arms and hands; in fact, they failed me, for there exhales from thence a deadly sphere. The hells there are extended lengthwise, and they differ, in quality and quantity, according to distance and also according to depth.


Some of the inhabitants of these were revengeful even to the utter destruction of the soul, but yet have practiced piety. These were cast down from a certain height of the mountain; and, when they were beneath, their effort to ascend to the height appeared like a crocodile of a hideous color, with a long and broad tail, ascending on high close to a certain thing erected perpendicularly; and this continued as long as they still had good spirits around themselves, and communicated with the angels; but, in proportion as that communication was taken away and diminished, in the same proportion the crocodile descended; and when, afterwards, the communication was altogether taken away, they were cast down into a deep hell; for such was their vindictiveness that they wished, for a trivial cause, to kill not the body but the soul; as was also proved by various attempts made by them.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE IN SELF-INTELLIGENCE; ALSO, WHENCE MAGIC IS DERIVED. There are at this day, very many, especially of the more reputable sort in the world, who altogether disbelieve that anything inflows from heaven or from God, and that they have blessings in this way, -thinking that such things are from self-intelligence, and saying and believing that everyone is the architect of his own fortune. The reason is, because they do not believe that heaven exists, nor God, but that all things flow from blind instinct, and from that alone; and [they believe] thus because they are intelligent, and also successful; for it is according to the order in the world, that everyone employs his reason, and that such things follow according to reason; but, since they do not believe that God inspires reason with such as are good, they therefore reject the Divine guidance, and follow the guidance of self-intelligence. They would have acted differently if they had believed in God and the life after death. Another reason is, that they place all blessing in wealth and dignity they do not know, nor are they willing to know, there, what heavenly wealth and dignity are; hence, also, they suppose that nothing else is given by God, as blessing, [save wealth and dignity]. These things, also, do come to those who act from self-intelligence; but to them they are not a blessing but a curse, for they do not place blessing in heavenly life and eternal felicity, to which, nevertheless, those are brought who suffer themselves to be led by the Lord. To these, also, it is matter of indifference even if they are not wealthy and placed in honor; they are content with their lot, because they know that all things are led to those issues which pertain to true blessing.


Those who have fully believed themselves to owe everything to self-intelligence, appear to sit at a table and there to write. Their speech issues at the teeth and becomes sibilant. They have a cap, or mossa, right down to the eyes, under which, as it were, they think. They are most malicious, and are sent away to that infernal den where Charles XII is. It is not so with the rest, who are not of such a character: they are in hells under the mountains to which, in opposites, they correspond. They are innumerable, and they think of nothing else but that they may enter into the affections of others whose wealth they wish to possess. They plot in many ways; wherefore they also inflow with man, from the head as far as to the mouth, and to the breast - others [inflow] from the feet as far as to the genitals. The latter plot by means of the loves of others, into which they insinuate themselves; the former [insinuate themselves] into those things which are of the thought. I was infested by them in various ways. They wish, in every effort, to possess and lead man, by imitating his nature and those things which are of his life, to such a degree as to penetrate considerably, according to practice in the world. They contrive various deceptions.


Inasmuch as to seek after honors and riches, and to obtain them from self-intelligence, is an abuse of the laws of order in the natural world, consequently, an abuse of the rationals of the mind also - for they proceed in inverted order, and from self - therefore, those of them who, by arts, craftiness and deceptions, bring themselves to that, become magicians in the other life, and there - also, they learn and drink in such things as relate to the law of order there - which, likewise, they abuse to the doing of evil. They cannot accept the principle of following the laws of order from the Divine influx, because they have taken all things, from themselves. In a word, there is with them an inversion of order in both worlds. In the world they meet with joy, but in the other life with mourning.


Hence is the reason why it is believed by very many that the Providence of the Lord is not universal in every single event, but that a particular ordering is given to the man [as a whole], when yet it is not so; and, inasmuch as they consider as blessings merely fortunate and pleasant worldly and corporeal things, therefore they confirm themselves [in their belief] by all things that happen in the world; especially by the fact that the evil become honored and rich and the good not so.


CONCERNING THOSE OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION WHO HAVE PERSUADED THEMSELVES THAT THEY HAVE POWER FROM THE LORD OVER THE SOULS OF MEN. There are very many such of that religion, who have exercised ecclesiastical functions under the pope, namely, cardinals, bishops, prelates, abbots, priors, and the rest who live in monasteries; for they have persuaded themselves that they have the keys of the Universe, and with them are able to open heaven, and let in whomsoever they please, thus, to rule over souls.


But there are many kinds of these. They appear on an eminence on the right and left side of the sun where the Lord is, and diffuse from themselves a sphere as if it were from the Lord - for they believed that they were His vicars. They thus scrutinize from on high those who are below, and rule them; neither will they endure that they utter a sound against them, nor say to them anything that is not pleasing, nor even that they look at them - out of reverence to their being in the stead of the Lord.


There are some on the right hand and some on the left; some are higher and higher there, even to the highest positions; there are also some on high, on both sides, at the back; but they all differ. They who are on the left in front, are those who have been learned and have confirmed themselves in those principles; but they who are in front, there, on the right, are different. Those below are such as are not learned, and yet have believed that the case is as just stated.


They do not ascend thither by the legitimate way; and they go up in gangs, believing that heaven is there; but when they come thither, they do not see any angel nor dwellings, but, some, sandy places, others, something grassy; and they proceed forwards, so that they may see from above those who are beneath. The reason that they do not see the angels there, is, because their eyes are closed by pride and such things as belong to pride, since there are, nevertheless, very many dwellings there. The angels there see them, and suffer them to pass by, knowing that they descend shortly.


When any from the lower regions dare to speak with them, or look at them, and still more when they refuse to obey, they are angry; and then they withdraw and consult, and, according to their interiors, they decide either to destroy, or injure, or punish the offenders. They are, for the most part, sunk in hatred and revenge against them; and then, if they cannot do it from above, they descend, for the purpose of taking vengeance; and when they reach the lower regions, they are scattered, and everyone of them is borne to the places suitable to his disposition acquired in the world. Thus those who are in hatreds and vindictiveness [are borne] to the hells where those of such a character are.


In the descent, they are deprived of the holy sphere - which is the Lord's - that they possess on the mountain. They were told that they have that sphere of the Lord around them, and that they are inside that sphere, with their pride, hatreds, revenges and the like, but that angels have the sphere of the Lord in themselves, or within them; so that the latter are angels of the Lord, but they, from pride, hatred, revenges and the like, are devils. There are very many such; and they raise themselves up there, and they descend.


 4920-1 CONCERNING THE HELLS. I was brought into a hell which is under the feet, where there appeared a great city, and many houses therein. I was conducted through the streets, and there appeared there robbers in great abundance, who sought to do one another mischief in various ways. And when anyone comes thither from elsewhere - which happens when good spirits do not know what and of what quality hell is, and what are the torments and fire of hell, in order that they may know - then, [for example] when I was there, they came to me, and intended to do me evil; and there was, as it were, a dog about me; but, before they were able to do it, I was snatched away from their ferocity.


A certain one of the spirits around me took from the world the notion that there are no such hells. He began to doubt concerning such great evils there, saying that in the houses there they are good; but he was brought to that place, and let in to one house, and introduced there into the chambers, in which he saw a multitude of the infernals. In one chamber they were in such evil that they were attempting to kill one another; in another they were mutilating each other, and were one after another overcome. In other chambers they ate vile things, such as filthy intestines; in another other things. Those who are in similar evil are in a similar chamber, and are there detained in prison; for sentinels stand without, to prevent them going away, and to prevent any from entering but those who are permitted.


Of such hells there are very many, even, as you may say, several hundred thousands. Those who are at length taken out of them are so far deprived of intellectual faculty as to be stupid; some are as it were fools. There are extensive places filled with such.


CONCERNING THE HEAVENS. It was further shown that where heaven is, there appear as it were mountains and hills; and that, from those mountains, are seen mountains still higher, whose tops are, as it were, in clouds of a dark blue color, and that there the celestials are. It was also shown, that, when a state of sunset comes to them, then those mountains appear to subside, or to sink to the level of the lower mountains, or even lower, according to the state of sunset at that time; and that they are afterwards elevated as before. From the mountains, there appears, from above, as it were a sky, with intermingled, or variegated, little white clouds, as it were.


CONCERNING HEAVEN AND CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE IN FAITH SEPARATE. There were certain priests from those who dwell upon a certain rock in front, a little to the right. One of them was known to me, by name, in the world, and was extolled for his preaching. This one came to me, and then, while I spoke with him, his intellectual faculty was opened so that he could apprehend quite intelligently all the things that were said; and, inasmuch as he supposed, as was observed by another priest, that he was in truths more than others, therefore he was brought with many spirits who were intermediates [i. e. subject spirits] to a mountain on the right; and, when they came thither, they were introduced into a cloud, from whence certain ones spoke with me, saying that they saw magnificent things there, and angels in the angelic form, at which they wondered; and, at first, by means of the tempering mediums, they sustained the light there. They were led to loftier places where they had light; but afterwards, the light began to be obscured, so that they saw those who were below there in considerable obscurity, when yet they were in light. Afterwards, they were led where there was heat there; and then they began to suffer pain in the knees, presently, in the region of the stomach, and at last, about the breast; but, lest that pain should become more grievous, it was moderated by the tempering mediums - as, also, they were told. From that place they then turned their faces to the rock from whence they came, which appeared to them like a dark cloud. They wondered that their dwellings are in that darkness, while yet, when they themselves are in that place, they are in light there; but they were told, that still they have no other light, because it is as it were the light of winter, which is seen from the light of spring which is in the heavens, to be of such a character. That they might be confirmed in this, it was granted them to speak with certain known priests there, from the habitations of the latter, where was a similar and even greater darkness. Thus they were instructed in what light of truth they were. Then [as they advanced] towards higher places, the pain became grievous and began to torment them; and they hastened to descend from thence as quickly as possible, saying that it is not heaven to them, there, but rather hell, and that they had no further desire to ascend thither.


CONCERNING HEAVEN AND THE LAST JUDGMENT. There also appeared many on the mountains and rocks who were evil; for they mount up by means of good affections to which they have accustomed themselves in the world, and thus insinuate themselves into societies. But it was often seen that the evil there were separated from the good in various modes, and cast down from the mountains and rocks.


There was one rock, upon which was quite a large city, where were those who are in faith alone, separated from charity. They believed, as in the world, that faith alone saves, and, at the same time, that it is from mercy, whatever might be the quality of the life. These reveled in the lust of governing; wherefore, they stood at the sides of the rock, and infested, in various ways, those that were beneath. They were often told that they should not do so; and the worst ones were also separated from thence; but yet the rest did not wish that they should be separated, nor to drive them away from themselves: thus, they consented to their evils and misdeeds. Wherefore, as all exhortation was in vain, that rock began to sink, and at length even into the depth, with that city and its inhabitants. It was also said that the same thing occurs in other places where they do not live the life of faith: the better ones there, however, departed previously. It was said that such are they who are understood by the goats at the left hand of the Lord, of whom mention is made in Matthew. When the rock sinks down, there is then only a city there, in which is an assemblage of evil spirits, who, while they were men, were in faith separate from charity; but, before this happens, the good are removed thence - that is, they who have lived in faith and at the same time in charity; thus, who are in the good of faith and in the good of charity. Then, consequently, a chasm appears there. There remain houses of wood, in which, in such a city, those live who are in the environs; for these [i. e. dwellers in the environs] are in the good of charity and faith.


They - along with two cities upon the rocks - sank down to a great depth according to the quantity and quality of their evil. This I saw happen. When the whole of the rocks settle down and become valleys, then all is well; and it signifies that those who were there are suffering themselves to be regenerated.


From those rocks, since they are lofty, they look afar off to a great distance; and all of those who are within the circuit of the rocks, in the valleys, which are well cultivated, and where are the spirits who are instructed and led to good - these, those on the rocks assail in many ways, so that they cannot be safe from them in any manner; and, whithersoever they flee, they pursue them with their eyes, and harass them. That they do this at a considerable distance, was shown by experience in myself, who was so far off that they could scarcely be seen. Therefore, their cities there, to a considerable number, sank down; but those who were in the good of faith and charity were saved. This is understood by those things in Matthew, chap. 25, about the sheep on the right hand, and the goats on the left.


CONCERNING THEIR TEMPLES AND HOW [THE WORSHIPPERS] ARE SEATED. I was also several times in the temples, to which great numbers resort. It was said that they appear to sit, there, according to delights. Those who love to be merely in sanctity and do not desire to be instructed, sit apart on one side; but those who desire to be instructed, sit on the other side. They are also distinguished by the priest who is preaching; for the thoughts of the minds of those present are communicated. But they who come with the purpose of hearing whether the things that he preaches are true, thus not for the purpose of being instructed but for the purpose of picking out those things which do not seem to them to be true - when these enter the temple, they embarrass the preacher so that he cannot preach. He, therefore, admonishes them to go away. Hence it is that other preachers can rarely be in the same place, because they observe such things; wherefore, those of them who are there, hide themselves in a particular manner, lest they should take away from the preacher the spirit of holiness.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING HEAVEN AND THE LAST JUDGMENT. There are cities there, large and numerous; and men repair to them in the other life, for the reason that they take with them, from the world, the ability to live there - by virtue of fear of their life, of the law, of honor and of gain - in the appearance of some good. As long as such fears are in them, they live morally; but, when they are taken away, they then live according to their interiors, which are then also manifested. Such cities appear upon rocks and upon mountains. Upon the rocks are those who are in principles derived from the doctrine of the Church. Upon the mountains are those who are in loves. Hence it is that rock, in the Word, signifies faith, and mountain, love. They also differ in many respects. To such cities there repair, at first, such as are in faith and have led a moral life in the world; but yet, by degrees, the wicked also, by means of simulated affections of truth and good and by various arts, repair thither; and when this happens, then the inhabitants of that city begin to be infested - for thoughts and affections are communicated in the other life - and, when this occurs, visitation takes place. Angels are sent thither, that they may know what is the nature of the state there; and, when they discover that the state of faith, or the state of love, is perverted by those wicked ones, then the good are separated from the evil like the sheep from the goats, and the good go forth and the evil remain; and then that city sinks down even into the depths, and thus the evil are let down into hell. I saw this take place with some of them.


How great is the wickedness of those who come thither can scarcely be described, as it is inexpressible. It especially takes place by the abuse of correspondences and representatives - arts that are unknown in the world. In some cases, they present themselves naked, and so appear above as innocents, and, under the guise of innocence, perpetrate ill deeds. Some learn, in addition, the spiritual language, whereby they conjoin themselves with certain angels, and thus perpetrate ill deeds; but they do not have such a spiritual language as they have who are in heaven, but an artificial one; and they speak by it, not in spiritual but in natural ideas - which is altogether forbidden. Some devise for themselves another language, and so associate themselves that what they speak amongst themselves is not perceived by others; but others act differently, in thousands and thousands of ways. In a word, the wickedness there is indescribable.


Four of the good spirits were sent into the cities for the purpose of there selecting for themselves a mansion; but where they came they found evil and villainous spirits. In two [of the cities], when they entered a house and an apartment, certain ones of the city entered and asked whether they wished to go out and commit whoredom: they also wished to urge them to this, and almost to offer violence; wherefore, they departed from them. Thus, the affair was almost like what occurred in Sodom. The reason that there is so much whoredom and adultery in those cities, is, because, in the world, such things are everywhere regarded as of no moment and believed to be lawful; further, because they place the whole of the Church in doctrine and not in the life; as, also, because they do not care whether doctrinals are false or true: and falsifications of doctrine are whoredoms, and adulterations of good are adulteries.


CONCERNING THE WORST HELL. The worst hell, which was from the men of the Most Ancient Church, is towards the left, in front, where those are who were called Nephilim, of whom we read in the Word, and who are called, by David, Rephaim. It is the worst, because they were exceedingly in self-persuasion, and the persuasion that there is no Divine except it be in themselves. They lie there in an exceedingly dense cloud. I have already treated of them.


Those from among Christians who are in the persuasion that there is no Divine, have their hell a little back, to the left, in a corner there, where those are deepest who have been in the greatest persuasiveness; for there are degrees of persuasion. He who was in the greatest was Charles XII. He was let down to a very great depth, because he was in so deadly a persuasive faculty that he was able to destroy men by his persuasive art. This was also shown to many.


CONCERNING THE FAITH OF DOCTRINALS AND OF THE WORD, WITHOUT DOING. A faith which believes those things that are in the Word, may exist apart from a belief in God. Believing in God is hearing and doing. Believing those things which are from God, however, is called faith, but it is not faith. It was granted me to perceive this in a spiritual idea. There were with me two from the celestial kingdom who were naked, and one who was in such a faith; and it was then clearly ascertained that a faith which consists in believing those things which are from God, and also those which are in the Word, is by no means the faith which saves, but that, without the former kind, it is a faith in which there is nothing saving. It is a species of persuasive faith.


CONCERNING CHURCHES IN THE OTHER LIFE, AND CONCERNING EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL SANCTITY. They have churches in the other life; and in some places they preach continually, so that persons can enter and go away at all times. They recline therein according to the state of their life; so that they can be discriminated by the preacher as to their quality, merely from the situation of the place in which they are. On the right are those who are in the good of love; on the left, those who are in the truths of faith - both the former and the latter according to the good and according to the truth with them; and in the middle, those who conjoin; from which it is manifest that even a society there represents a man; and those in it correspond, as far as possible.


But when one of another doctrine comes thither, and from that other doctrine thinks about those things which are being preached, the preacher is disturbed and is not able to preach; wherefore they either sit with averted face, or go away from the place. That this is so, the intelligent, and especially the wise, preachers, also know; for the affection is altogether changed according to the looking, or turning of the face to them.


In the churches there exist various kinds of sanctity amongst those who are there: in general, there is external sanctity and internal sanctity. Those who are in external sanctity sit at the door of the temple; those who are in internal sanctity are diametrically opposite, a long way within. I was in such a temple and heard one preaching - but with averted face, because I have the habit of thinking about the things that are preached; nor was I then led by the Lord to inspire affection into any doctrinal if only it is from good, as, however, happened afterwards. I spoke with those there afterwards, and it was given me to say that there is external sanctity and internal sanctity; and the sanctity is external where the internals - which are either filthy or not evil, with all variety - are closed; for, when the internal is not as yet good, it is then closed that it may not disturb the thoughts of those who think and are affected from the internal. In a word, there are all varieties [of sanctity], which are, besides, held in order by the Lord by means of closings and openings of the interiors, and temperings of the exteriors thence.


 4940-1 Afterwards, a certain prayer (bon 4940-2) was uttered by a woman, who was permitted to utter it because she could be in external devotion; and they were then variously affected. Thereupon I spoke with them, saying, that women are indeed able to enunciate with affection and thus to excite to devotion and sanctity, but not to teach. It must be added that still it is rarely that such ones are interiorly devout. The woman who uttered the prayer in that church with such sanctity that all were moved and believed that she was the best of them all - she, on being examined as to the life, thus as to interiors, was wicked - wicked against her husband and against all who did not extol her. She wished to kill me by magic, and, with another woman, plotted foully against me.


After this, I was led along, unawares - according to my custom of meditating; but I did not know at that time, any [of those things] that were said; but still, in this way, they [in the church] were also able to be affected by the things said, by virtue of their instructiveness.


As respects the preachers, there are very many of such a character (because they are such in the world, and rarely otherwise, save the simple or less learned) that they are in a persuasive faith that a thing is according to their doctrinal, because they have confirmed that with themselves; and thus, because they are in external affection and not in internal there inwardly reigns what is envious and hostile when anything is even said in any way about things of such a kind as are the interiors of man. But, still, there are some who are interiorly good, that is, who suffer themselves to be led by the Lord.


They [i. e. those in the church mentioned] said that they also perceive in what affection the preacher is, whether he is in an affection of spiritual and celestial love, or, whether he is [preaching] from an affection of the love of reputation, of honor, of gain and such things. Preachers are also distressed by this, hardly knowing what they are going to say. In this, there is a difference between preachings in the other life and preachings in the world: in the world, an altogether filthy affection of the love of self and of gain may yet sound to the hearing like an affection of the love of good. The reason is, because the sensual-corporeal which is in the world receives what is said, but with them [i. e. with those in the spiritual world] it is the interior sensual.


CONCERNING HEAVEN AND THE LAST JUDGMENT. It was again seen that great cities were destroyed: one sank down; another was transferred. The one which sank down, sank to a very great depth, not slowly but quickly; it sank in the middle, and the inclined sides followed, and thus [it went down] into the depths. And while they were in the depth, the sides were pressed together above, and thus it was closed up at the top. But the better sort, who were previously called forth, got away.


The other city did not sink down, but was transferred to another place which was at quite a remarkable distance. The removal then proceeded in a circuit, and it appeared as though a cloud was transferred; and when it came to its destination, it likewise sank down in this place, in the manner already related. Before it was transferred, all who were in it were put into a sort of stupor; for there was a general change of state.


CONCERNING THE WORST MAGICIANS OF ALL, WHO COME FROM AFRICA - THE CEREBRAL. There was brought, from a certain hell to behind the back, a certain one who was able with great power to inspire fear and horror in the spirits who came. He was placed at my occiput; and all spirits who came under his gaze were terrified and fell back, as it were, out of horror and terror. But, afterwards, there came a certain woman who had, wrapped in a linen cloth, some of the flesh of a leg, which she called a morsel, and which she gave him to eat. He approached and stretched out [his hand]; and from it he was stupefied, as if deprived of his life, nor was he able any longer to think at all, but stood like a statue. Hence I could infer that such were those who are called by the ancients Cerberi, and who were in the entrance to the lower places. This woman was there also. The place corresponds in position to the occiput.


The same woman then went further below, under that place, and there tarried. Afterwards, she raised herself up and poured out something from a bowl, as it were liquor to drink, saying that she gave drink to those that were beneath - of which also they drank; and then those who were the guards, there, began to be insane.


After this, she wished to enter by magical arts into the hells of the sirens, into which no one is admitted. She wished to take certain ones away from thence; and this she effected through dreadful magical arts - by turning herself into various serpentine forms - and, as it were, penetrated in thither. She thus drew to herself those whom she wished to take away from thence, who were the worst of all; but when she had done that execrable deed, she was cast in with violence, and there she lay.


It was discovered whence such characters were. There were enchantresses at a certain height above, in front, who spoke, and said that the former ones inflicted such things by their means. The angels said that such exist in Africa, and that they are interiorly religious but exteriorly vicious, and that thence they receive influx from the celestials, and turn it into such magic - for the things by which they act are correspondences; so that those arts come from an interior sphere, and were irresistible in a lower sphere.


It was afterwards granted me to hear those speak from whom the influx came. It was said to them that through their influx such characters perpetrate an enormous crime. But they were not willing to abstain, saying that they [who receive the influx] receive goods, and that, therefore, they do not wish to avert themselves from them. It was discovered that they also were of such a character in the world, and tolerated such as were inwardly religious but outwardly vicious. 4950-1 Therefore were they also cast down from their place. They were on high upon a mountain; and when they came below, they went through a certain gallery towards the hell of sirens and let themselves down, [as to] the head, a certain number of paces, and proceeded in this manner - whereby it happened that that hell was opened, in places, to their associates. It was said of them that they took out certain ones from that hell; but they were afterwards cast into another.


4920-1 Number 4819 is wanting from the Latin text.

4940-1 There is no number 4939 in the original.

4940-2 A Swedish word meaning "prayer."

4950-1 The meaning here would seem to be religious in profession and precept, but not in practice. -Ed.

Next: 4951-5000