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

Spiritual Diary


In a word, such magicians and such as inflow into the voluntary part [i. e. those from whom the magicians received their influx] are not worthy to live, because they are destroyers of the human race. I spoke with those in the city, who said that such ones cannot there be constrained to become better, for they say that they do good, and also that evils are crushed by them, and that their connection [with the magicians] is so close that when they speak thus they cannot be hurt in any wise.


CONCERNING A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE GROW INSANE WHEN THEY LOOK WITHIN. There is a place at the back, near the lower part of the spinal marrow, into which when people put the head they began to grow so stupefied that they suffered acute pain, feeling, that they were almost destitute of intellectual life. Some put their heads therein and such a thing happened to them. They were removed thence lest they should disturb this sphere. But [the place] was afterwards closed up. The closing up appeared like as if a pestle were flung into a great siphon.


CONCERNING THE CATHOLIC RELIGION AND BABEL. The bishops and prelates of that religion, who have persuaded themselves that the Lord gave to Peter, and consequently to them, the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and, thus, that [they have] the power of remitting sin, and therefore are in the place of the Lord - these appeared at the right hand, on each side of the place where the Lord appears as a sun; to which place they are elevated by virtue of the opinion that they are next to the Lord, and therefore [have], from Him, the power of ruling over those things which are below.


They appeared there on the right and left, in a like attitude; on the right were those who were prelates and in pre-eminence over the rest; on the left, those who were in lesser dignity, and so in lesser power.


They were seen several times; and, when seen, there appears around them, from phantasy, a sphere as if it were the Lord's; and they wish to be adored almost like the Lord. They were indignant when I looked at them; but then, being angry, they consulted together; and, afterwards, they were driven off by a back way from the mountain, and, as they were evil, they were cast into hell. Thus it happened on several occasions.


Meanwhile, they stirred up many crews among those who are below, whom they wish to rule; especially amongst those who are at the back, whom they inspire with the chimerical faith that the things they say are from the Lord - these believing nothing else; and they also inspire certain foolish ones with this faith, namely, that the Lord is with them with His own present. These are the worst ones; for, by virtue of their persuasion they allure simple good spirits to themselves - for their persuasion is very powerful - wherefore, they are like leeches, so that they can scarcely be driven away; but yet they are punished most grievously, and, at length, are relegated to the hells.


They also have a great city upon a mountain at the right, where they hold a consistory. They say, however, that the Pope is not there, because they are in the other life; and that, there, the Lord is Pope.


I saw that many of them descended by a back way and conducted themselves holily in externals - for they have external sanctity; and that they called forth white monks, with books - of whom I have previously made mention - who prayed for them. The Jesuits also then conspired with them.


They were told that they have no power in the other life, because they do not possess truths but falses, and only truths have power. The falses are, that they have authority to rule in the heavens and the earths, to worship saints as deities, and to remit sins; also, that the common people possess very few truths, because they ought to believe as they [i. e. the priests] do, and because they are kept in dense ignorance; and this [policy] they have in common, for the sake of dominion and worldly wealth.


There appear around that mountain, from one border to the other, men, or spirits, who look downwards, and by this means rule all things that are around. They who are thus placed in succession, and who number as many as hundreds, are called spies; and everyone of them has his function.


He that stood first in that succession, is of those who take away understanding from men, by inducing ignorance of all things which are in the Word; and it is thus that they inseminate the notion that the common people ought to be ignorant of all things because, otherwise, they could not govern souls; for, in that case, the common people would not think as they do.


They also send forth spirits to those who are below - but, by means of others, there, who sit at a place at their back, and, as it were, infuse themselves into the heads of those [who are below] even to the mouth and chin, and rule their thoughts and so their will, consequently, who rule interiors. There were many such with me; and they infused themselves in this way, and this very often.


The spy who appears in the second place, is of those who disjoin the Lord from the Church, by putting themselves in His place; thus, which amounts to the same, who separate good and truth. Such characters, by means of others, send below, to the back of those who sit there, and cause marriage to be dissolved. This, [namely,] how it is done at the back, was also shown me to a considerable extent.


The functions of the rest follow in order as they stand there. Upon the mountain is a great city of wide extent, also an immense multitude; and, in the midst thereof, quite an eminent height, called the Mount of Assembly, in the part more remote from the Lord as a sun: it is the side of the north. The height of that mountain is the same as the height of the sun, which is the Lord altogether according to that which is recorded by the prophet 4964-1 concerning Lucifer, who is Babel.


Below the Mount of Assembly, and likewise above it, appear also watch-towers, in which are those who watch everywhere around, and also rule, like those who are around at the sides.


There was seen a certain one, on the top of a certain tower, who held a naked sword which flashed; and then those below who saw it began straightway to lie down blinded, and, as it were, dead from terror, like as from a Pope's fulmination. Such is also signified in the Word by the flashing of a sword. In the same place there were very many such persons.


On the top of the Mount of Assembly appeared a tower. Those who stood thereon seemed to wave as it were a kerchief, thus a white linen cloth, which had the effect of exciting impious adulteries below, such as of a mother with her son; consequently, such evils as are signified in the Word by those adulteries.


They that were in the first place seemed to descend from the Mount of Assembly. It was a vast multitude; but it was said that this was a small part. After this, those also descended who were in the second place, concerning whom I have spoken above.


There appears a communication between this right hand mountain, and a mountain to the left of the sun; which communication appears in front of the sun so that the mountains almost obscured the sun; thus they were those who took away love. In that place of communication appeared a vast multitude.


There also appeared a tower on the opposite side, at the back, which answered to those who are in the Mount of Assembly; and they there waved kerchiefs, in like manner, when they wished to excite impious adulteries.


I read [Isaiah] chap. 14, concerning the King of Babel, who there is Lucifer; and then they who were in the heavens turned their eyes to that mountain, as they also acknowledged, saying that it was made known to them because the eyes of all are upon those [on the mountain]. There, also, mention is made of the Mount of Assembly and the sides of the North.


There appear certain ones far away from the places below; but yet, looking narrowly, they see all things that are below, which takes place, because, in the world, they had their eyes fixed on all lands, from a most ardent cupidity of ruling.


They said, with a loud voice, from that mountain which is the Mount of Assembly, that the Lord has no power in the heavens, since He had given it to those who are the successors of Peter; thus, that they rule, and will rule, in place of the Lord, since the Lord is one, but they are myriads, and myriads can rule as was foreseen by the Lord, while one cannot. They make out that the Lord is not God but a man, although, as to the Divine, conjoined with the Father from love.


The whole mountain was surrounded with benches, in triple, or fivefold order; [one row] was above, three in the middle altitudes, and [one] below, and they were all filled with spirits in great numbers, who had eyes all round about, and ruled all things. My eye was directed round the mountain and wherever there was such a thing; and it was shown that the tracts, as far as the eye could reach, were under the domination of these, everywhere around.


But this whole ruling was from the love of self and the world, not from the love of saving the human race; consequently, from diabolic love, and not at all from Divine love.


Because this was the case, that mountain, with the mountains round about, where was a similar religion, sank down from its altitude even to the plane of the horizon, where they afterwards wandered; nor were they longer able, by looking abroad from the height, to rule over the lands round about; for when they ruled, they did all kinds of evil to those who were not willing to worship them and their deities.


Moreover there were also very many who were in the worship of idols, and many prelates, who persuaded people that a stone was alive, exhibiting tears and several things, whereby the simple were seduced into worshipping stone or wood, and became altogether idolatrous. Hence it was, that, everywhere in the churches, and in the roads, there were simple persons on their knees before statues, and they kissed stones, and so were altogether in idolatrous worship (and, although their more intelligent prelates saw this, yet they tolerated it, merely for the sake of acquiring gain), and that they [i. e. the people] were thus kept in dense darkness concerning Divine worship, in order that by this means they might be worshipped as gods, and that they [i. e. the people] might offer their goods to them.


When the mountains sank down, the Mount of Assembly, where was a great number of spirits, was transferred around to the left, to quite a great distance, and there sank down; and those who were there were for the greater part cast into hell; for those were there, who wished to rule over others as gods, and to be worshipped as deities.


Before that sinking down took place, they began to appear not at the right and left of the sun where the Lord is, but they appeared remote therefrom, so that they were distant, for the reason that the Lord had removed Himself from them. They then said to each other that their destruction was at hand; for if they were not near the Lord, they could not rule in His place and cast abroad the phantasy concerning the Lord's ruling.


There afterwards appeared on the left side of the sun, where the Lord is, a certain tower, where many were laboring; and they wished to build that tower and elevate it to heaven, and above the clouds. It was also constructed to an immense height, like above the clouds in the earth. They labored continually, and thus erected it. In this manner was represented the Babylonian tower, and then also was revealed, by like experience, what that tower signified. Below, were some of those who were previously upon the mountain, who at that time held a council, and deliberated concerning the doctrine which should be for a rule to the people. That doctrine was what was represented by the tower; for a tower is doctrine.


Meanwhile, the communication between me and them was closed, so that I did not know what they did; but, afterwards, that doctrine was sent out and carried into effect, so that communication was opened, and it [i. e. the doctrine] was read. It was to this purport: 1st, that they should worship and adore the Pope, as the vicar of Christ; 2nd, that he had the Keys of Peter, so that he was able to open and close heaven and also hell to whomsoever he would; 3rd, that they should worship Mary as the goddess of heaven; 4th, that they [should worship] also saints, beneath her - saints who were formerly holy men, and afterwards were made saints; 5th, that supreme power over emperors and kings belongs to the Pope; 6th, that emperors and kings have no business with the affairs of the Church; 7th, that they who would not acknowledge these things were condemned and had no blessing, either on earth or in the heavens.


These were the doctrinals, which they then sent out, which are represented by that high tower. Its height was owing to the circumstance that they thought nothing at all concerning the salvation of the human race, but only about their own domination. Thus it was from diabolical self-love, which also is represented by height.


When these things were read, they received answer that those doctrinals were sent out from the deepest hell; and then a diabolical crew, very black and very dreadful, appeared ascending from thence, and approached and tore away the written doctrinals from them with their teeth, and took them down with them into the deepest hell.


Those who were around were amazed; but they acquiesced, when they were told that those there thought nothing of the salvation of the human race by means of the truths and goods of faith, but all had for an end the diabolical ruling over the heavens and over the earths - thus also over the Lord.


Let those things be explained which are spoken concerning the King of Babel and Lucifer, in Isaiah chap. 14; and concerning the Babylonian Tower, Gen. chap. 11; also Isaiah 13:19 to the end.


It should be known that those who are Babel approach all whom they see, and urge them, by all kinds of arts, to accept their rule. The arts are many and atrocious; and they by no means do this for the sake of the salvation of souls, but solely for the sake of rule and gain.


It should also be known that the case with cities in the other life is thus: where there are evil there, the worst are in the middle - at the right side, those who are in evil by means of which falsity is produced; at the left, those who are in falsity from evil; in the middle, those by whose means communication takes place - and round about are spies. The case is similar, in general, with the mountains where the evil dwell.


But it is the reverse in cities where the good dwell; for the inhabitants make together one man, as it were: hence cities are doctrines. Very skilful indeed are the inhabitants of the cities where the evil dwell, in dreadful arts for leading men into damnation. They were able to avert the influx of the Lord from those who in faith acknowledge the Lord, by blunting the influx, and also by almost taking it away, and by turning the mind and its thought to themselves. They practiced this; and their practice was exposed. They said (as they had also stated to some in the world) that men do not need to look to the Lord but to them, since He left His power to them. When any replied that He is still God, they say that He came into the world as a man and received that power which He had from His Father, and that He has no power now.


Some of those who were on the mountain, took counsel together that they should receive the heavenly doctrine which is treated of [in the Arcana Coelestia] before the successive chapters of Exodus. They devised atrocious plots how they might adulterate it - which plots were of such a character that I dared not give them publicity; for they were too horrible to divulge - together with all those contrivances which could adulterate it, and thus could utterly do away with and extirpate it with them, so that it might be altogether annihilated. But their atrocious plots were detected; and they were punished in such a manner that they became altogether insane and stupid, so that they could never recover intellectual power. There were many of such a character, from whom it was granted to know how it fared with those who embrace heavenly doctrine with the purpose and design of annihilating it - which can happen when they admit its sanctity and clandestinely infuse profane things. They were persons of three sorts: 1st. Those who think of nothing else but ruling, and employ holy things as a means of ruling; who also are Babel 2nd. Those who have persuaded themselves that there is not a God, but that man has all things in himself, so that everyone is absolutely the architect of his own fortune; and that religion is on account of the common people, that they may be held in bonds. 3rd. There were such as have entirely conjoined themselves with the hells.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE WORST [MAGICIANS] FROM AFRICA. HERE [ARE DESCRIBED] MAGICAL THINGS FROM INDIA AND EASTERN COUNTRIES. There was a sorceress among the worst ones, said to be from India, who also had communication with evil characters from the east - from Eastern India. She was with me a long time, and, in fact, at the back, and there took to herself such a position that she could not be seen. She had a sphere of a certain species of good. She also clothed herself there with in a magical manner, whereby she made herself naked, and so simulated innocence.


She had communication with certain wicked [magicians], forward to the right in a certain altitude, who also were of a kind of celestial genius, -thus genii of a middling sort. She had influx from these; and thence they saw how the matter stood, and so directed [her].


She was with me for many weeks, and took this [sphere of hers 4991-1] along with me wherever she wished. She led it forth; she drew it out from the cerebrum; she held it below, besides doing many other things. She fixed herself in a place near the occiput, between the cerebrum and cerebellum, and could not be driven away: which also was on account of the fact that she was skilled in abominable arts, from the influx from those who were from Eastern India.


When detected, she had, at the right hand, a room which was formed into a spire, and she entered by a spire, and sat in the middle, and thence ruled on all sides, and harassed her victims in numerous ways. She had also another room, formed into a labyrinthine shape, from whence also she perpetrated wickednesses. She also had another, in front, a little to the left, from whence, also, she directed things in a similar manner; and she did all things in a representative way, according to influx from those evil ones from Eastern India.


There are yet many things besides, which cannot be recorded for their number. Those also from whom she had the influx were detected, and I also spoke with them; and they were afterwards cast into a hell which is nearly under the sole of the right foot.


That sorceress from among the worst ones, avoided punishments in various ways, under the auspices of evil spirits above, on that mountain of which I have spoken before, and from others at the back who seemed to hide themselves behind the sun where the Lord is, and who then went to the front and inflowed. They were of the Catholic religion. Those who lie in wait at the back are of the worst sort, and are those who, in the world, did all things secretly.


CONCERNING NEREZ AND EXECRABLE REVENGE, AND CONCERNING THOSE AT THE BACK. He was in a certain city, which was upon a rock and he was accepted there by the others as governor; but he did everything for the sake of gain, and, in the whole and in every particular, had regard to profit; and, in various ways, he compelled those who were rich to give him money.


Among the dreadful things which he perpetrated was also this, that he sent stubborn spirits to hold another by his elbows, behind the back, and through them caused that the spirit became, as it were, bound to them, unable to speak any longer from himself but only from them - also inspiring anger, so that he could not but be as it were infuriated against them; but they did not let go except at his [Nerez's] command. He also sent such ones to me at the back, and then I was not able to speak anything from myself, but their speech was in all things of my speech, so that it was they who spoke; and he excited indignation against them, amounting to a fury of indignation. His policy, with those whom he ruled, was to exact profit from them; and they also, afterwards, gave him half of their possessions.


He said, too, that he could send spirits, who took away from others the faculty of speaking. When he spoke, he produced a noise like that of a dog barking, so that he could scarcely be heard otherwise. He was most greedy of vengeance.


He also had some others at the back, who directed those who were there; for it is so, in the other life, that they are at the back and lie in wait, who lay in wait secretly in the world. He was punished by one of such a character, who, also, put himself at his back and held him bound in a similar manner. He was likewise infested by him, but was, in his turn, liberated by his associates.


The hell of such is under the sole of the left foot, a little to the left there. Into this hell, he was cast down; and when he practiced such things there, he also cast himself upon them at the back. But they now speak and plot amongst themselves.


CONCERNING THE LOVE OF RULING, AND CONCERNING THE RULE OF LOVE. I spoke with spirits concerning the love of ruling. They supposed that it was not lawful for anyone to rule; but it was said that it is lawful to rule, but that the love of ruling is from two origins, from self-love, and from love towards the neighbor. Those who rule from self-love, and not from love of the neighbor, are devils, because they do all things from themselves, and not from the Lord. Such rush into all abominable evils, such as hatreds, revenges and cruelties. They do not regard use, otherwise than for the sake of themselves, thus, on account of gain. But they who rule from love towards the neighbor can be exalted to great dignities; for they regard uses as the end, use to their fellow-citizen, use to the city, use to the kingdom of the Lord. Thus they have respect to the neighbor. The neighbor is the good which relates to use. By means of these the Lord rules; for they fear the Lord, and love truth, good and use, therefore God, that is, the Lord. Such rulers are good, and their rule is the rule of love; indeed when spiritual and celestial love rules, then the Lord rules.


4964-1 Isaiah 14:13.

4991-1 See above, No. 4989: "She had a sphere of a certain species of good."

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