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

Spiritual Diary


In the other life, it cannot be otherwise than that some rule and some obey. Some have taken with themselves the life of ruling from the world, and have that sphere, and from that sphere [there results] subordination. Some, who have served in the world, have acquainted the life of obedience. They know of, and wish, nothing else. Hence, ruling is necessary; but it must be the rule of spiritual and celestial love. They who thus regard others as equal to themselves love them and do them good. It is the reverse with the rule of infernal and diabolical love.


CONCERNING THE DURATIONS OF THE LIFE OF MEN: WHY SOME LIVE LONG, AND SOME NOT LONG. The life of every man is foreseen by the Lord, as to how long he will live, and in what manner; wherefore he is directed from earliest infancy with a regard to a life to eternity. The Providence of the Lord, therefore, commences from earliest infancy.


The reasons why some die boys, some youths, some adults, some old men, are: 1st, on account of use in the world to men; 2nd, on account of use, while he is in the world, to spirits and angels; for man, as to his interiors, is with spirits; and he is there as long as he is in the world, in which all things in the spiritual world terminate; 3rd, on account of use to himself in the world, either that he may be regenerated, or that he may be let into his evils lest they lie dormant and afterwards break out, which would result in his eternal ruin; 4th, therefore, on account of use afterwards in the other life, after death, to eternity; for everyone who will be in heaven has his place in the Grand Man, or, on the other hand, he has his place in hell: wherever forces fail they are balanced, and, of the Providence of the Lord, men are brought thither. Thus also, the kingdom of the Lord is cared for, the welfare of which is universal Providence.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING BABEL. When the mountains, together with the cities, there, went down, then mountains remained there farther off; and those who were there, produced, from phantasy, before themselves, as it were the sun where the Lord is. But it did not shine: what they caused to appear was an obscurity of phantasy. Those who were on the mountains there, sometimes removed themselves from the other side of that lightless sun of phantasy, below; and sometimes they went out, and, in the lower places there, plotted crimes as before, and were removed, in an inverse manner, to the back of that sun, and were not seen. It was said to them that the sun where the Lord is, has such heat that they could by no means approach it at any distance without being burnt up; whereupon they answered that the Lord was in their sun, and that they went in and out and did according to his command who ordered such things; and it was then detected, that it was a man in the love of lording it over others who was there. (It was Jacob Benzelius), who professed the Catholic religion because it was granted him to govern. He was then taken from thence, and hurled round about into the accursed dust, because he had dared to commit such a crime. Hence was apparent of what quality, as to faith, are they who are in the love of governing. He gave commands to do those misdeeds.


Then there appeared in heaven a sun where the Lord was, and it shone; so that it might be manifested that it [i. e. the one alluded to above] was not the sun there. He who was in that place of phantasy said that he was the Lord, and he gave commands to commit crimes.


When it was detected that there was such a one in that place of phantasy, and he was cast down from thence and rolled in the accursed dust, he at length arose, and said, from that lower place where he went, that he was the Lord, now on the earths; afterwards, that he was God. The Catholic crew round about adored and acknowledged him. Then, wherever he went, they, and especially those who were on the surrounding mountains, fell on their knees; and they did this, no matter if they were told that he was insane, and that only the love of self, or of ruling, thus, a diabolical love, governed him. At length, the Jesuits also descended, and surrounded him in crowds, and shouted aloud acknowledging him. He also descended below, twice, saying that [he was going] to hell and would bind the devil, and that, after that, he would liberate those who were bound, and many other things. And he gave in his assent to the belief in purgatory, which assent they greeted with much applause; besides many such diabolical things. But, at length, he was recognized; and the sirens and their like surrounded him with a fatuous light, and thence his persuasion became still greater.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE STATIONED AT MAN'S BACK. Those who enter into the affections and thoughts of man are stationed at the back, below and above, nearer or more remotely. Those who are at the back in the region of the loins, enter into the affections of his thoughts, and when they once come to a man, do not leave him till death. These are the ones who are in his ruling affection. Those who are stationed higher up, somewhat remotely, and who are very numerous, enter into the man's thoughts; and those who are almost next under the occiput enter into his speech, so that man speaks from them, and from their voice, as it were. These things are from experience.


CONCERNING REMARKABLE MAGICAL [FEATS]. There was a certain one who shone about the face, like an angel, so that he was in light. It was Carl Gyllenborg. It was then discovered from whence that was, [namely,] that he has received a cap (mossa), from which, when it was put on, he thus shone. This, which was made up by magic, was given to him by some one, as a present. He also had the Book of Psalms, whereby he was secure where he was, and also had power. He also had a pen-knife, which also was made by magic; he also had a tobacco-box, by which he inflowed into my naturals which correspond to the teeth. But, when he had these things, he acted as if deprived of mind, acting, as it were, from instinct. But, when these things were taken away from him, then he came to something of his former mind.


But there was another magician, the most expert of all, who had long brooded upon magical arts, but a kind of magic unlike the magic of those who are in the magical hell. He collected the affections and thoughts of another, which, as appearances in the other life are real, he made fast around himself in various places, until he was entirely clothed with them from head to heel; and then he took them off, and replaced them, as if it was such that it could again be put on. He acted thus during the whole course of his life. He formed the thoughts into bundles, just like the sirens when they make their puppets; he also inserted colors according with the affections. He believed, that, [when] he has collected all the things of anyone's life, he would then hold him bound and could lead him whithersoever he would. But at length he was detected; and then there was sent to him a certain one who could strip him of all those things, which happened almost continuously for an entire hour, and then he appeared, gradually, less and less. Thus he was despoiled of all those things by the uncovering thereof, and was afterwards left; but, as he then commenced to do similar things, he was cast into hell.


They who do such things, are those who believe nothing about the Divine Providence nor about God, but that all things are of human prudence and shrewdness. Those who were of such a character in the world, produce such things in the other life.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING BABEL. There was a certain one (it was Charles XII) who was vastated until he had nothing of life from heaven remaining, and who, consequently, sat imbecile. Those who are Babel, especially the Jesuits, inflowed with him, and labored in every way that he might be revived; wherefore they sent their followers into and around him, and from them he again spoke nearly as formerly, although he was almost like a statue and it was shown that of those who inflowed, some constituted his limbs anteriorly, even from the genitals to the top of the head, so that they made up, together, one devil. Hence it was shown that the Jesuits, who, more than others, have the lust of ruling, together constituted one devil in the other life; for he [who] inflowed was a devil more than all others. They did this for the end that he might destroy those who adored the Lord and not them.


CONCERNING CITIES IN THE OTHER LIFE, AND CONCERNING THE CITY OF LONDON IN ENGLAND. I was conducted in a wakeful state into a city situated on a rock, and was led about. That city was altogether after the fashion of London. The streets were similar, the houses were similar, the open places were similar, thus, [it was similar] from one end to the other; and I inquired who dwelt there. It was said that they were Englishmen from London. The city was very popular. When I came thither, I inquired of those there who they were; but when it was discovered that those who accompanied me were not of a disposition and genius like those who lived there, it was said that there was no dwelling-place for them, anywhere. It is also their custom to give keys to strangers, which are signs that they were received.


The English and others who are there, are of that genius and disposition that they think and do whatever the magistrate says, just as they do in the world, and that they believe whatever is said by anyone [of those] who have acquired the reputation of learning, so far that they think alike and affirm with unanimity. Wherefore, also, such magistrates are set over them as they esteem, and whom they therefore obey in all things according to their natural custom. By this means, all who are in that city are kept in restraint, in unanimity and in society, and are ruled. That they have a London there, is because they value their own above all things.


It was also observed that those who are in cities in the other life can travel through their own city, even when extensive, in a few minutes; for when they think concerning distant places in the city, they are, by means of their thoughts, presented there as if present, although they are in a distinctly different place. Thought, there, occasions such presence. It also happened so with me. This is the difference in respect to presence between spirits and men.


CONCERNING PERSUASIVE FAITH WITHOUT SAVING FAITH, HOW INJURIOUS IT IS. There was a certain one who had persuasive faith more than others. He had believed more stringently than other men those things which are in the Word; but [only] those which are in the sense of its letter. In the world, also, by means of such things and the reading of the Word, he arrived at honors, and hence obtained fame; but, because he was of such a character, and also wished to become great in the other life, and believed himself to be more deserving than others, he was willing to hear of nothing except his becoming great: he also loved worldly more than heavenly things. It was shown, however, how injurious was that faith he possessed. He associated himself with the most malicious devils, who, through him, enjoyed quite weighty power; and this often and for a very long time. Wherefore that faith was taken away from him, because it was injurious both to him and to the human race there. He obeyed the devils in destroying whomsoever they wished, especially when they promised him greatness and honors. It was further shown, also, that his faith had for an end honors and the world, which also he accounted heaven: it [i.e. his end] was that he might become great, in a similar manner, in heaven.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE CITY OF LONDON. That city about which I have spoken above was situated on a rock at the left. There is also another city of London, which is situated in a plane on the level of the sole of the foot, a little to the right. Here, too, are Englishmen; and the city is according to the pattern of London. I was there also, and likewise wandered through several of the streets. Those there said that they have seen me when I was in [the former 5016-1] London, and they described the ways through which I then rambled. It was while there that I was also in thought. But no one appeared in the streets: they do not go out except by permission. Men are plundered there. In the middle of the city are the evil, and in the circumference - successively, the good. Sometimes they who are in the middle there appear to sink down, and sometimes those who are there are then overwhelmed; but, sometimes, that city, with its buildings, sinks and again emerges, and then a few who are very bad are swallowed up. In this way that city is preserved from the contagion of evil. I saw the subsidence in the middle, and the emerging. It was like a flood subsiding.


CONCERNING CITIES OF THE DUTCH. In a dream, I roamed through a certain city, and lost my way; and at length I thought about Amsterdam, and about the market-place, from which a street went to a gate, whence I wished to go forth, and depart to another place. Then I came into a certain market-place which I have not seen before, and thence into a street which I have seen, where there were houses round about; but there were many doors, or wooden gates, and the street was also roofed over. I saw no one, however, except only one woman, whom I asked whether this street was the street of exit for those who go abroad; and when I said this, I awoke.


When I had awoke, I spoke with some in the city who were in the middle of it, among whom were also some of the magistracy, who inquired from whence I came and what I wanted; to whom, also, I replied just as the case was. After this, they related how the case stands with their city, namely, that it is roofed above, in order that it may be seen only with difficulty by those who are on the rocks; also that their streets are closed here and there, and that the gates are closed, only being opened when consent is given.


They also said that, in this way, they can [not] be infested by travelers, nor by those who are on the rocks, by their looking at them, and thus by magical infestations [from them]; adding, that, if perchance they [in the city] looked at those [on the rocks], those ideas of their thought which happen to penetrate, are bound by certain ones stationed there; and that then those who look cannot move themselves from the place, and are kept thus until they come into anxiety, so that they believe themselves about to perish: wherefore, they afterwards desist from such things; and then they live in security. It was also shown to the life that it so happens. They [on the rocks] let in their magical ideas, and bound them in such a way as to cause despair to the victims. They did this with the ideas of very many simultaneously.


With strangers who come thither, who are admitted, and who, it is ascertained, are such as do not accord with the inhabitants and cannot perform any use, they act in this wise. They tell them to depart, and they are then conducted to a gate of the city, but it appears closed, and then they tell them to go to another gate. When they come thither, that is closed also; and so in respect to many, until they become so worried that they can no longer endure such treatment. They increase their longing to depart, and at last, when the inhabitants perceive that the strangers make up their minds that they will never again return, on account of such annoyance, they are let out. This was also exhibited to me to the life, by experience.


Further: they said, of their women, that they are separate from their husbands, they dwelling on one side of the city and the husbands on another; and when the husbands want them they send to them, and then they come - which happens on account of its being implanted in them to domineer. Sometimes, the women are indignant and angry at this; and then they are sent out of the city; and, when there, they wander through various places and are inflamed with a desire of escaping, but, whithersoever they come, there still appears an obstruction, or a closure, or a marshy or a watery place, and the like. Thus they wander about, for a long while, seeking a place to go out, and this until they are utterly fatigued; and then they return to the city and enter their houses, and so are amended.


I spoke with the men, and with those [women] concerning marriage, to the effect, that, so far as the desire of ruling increases, in one or another, so far does the delight of life diminish, and so far as that desire diminishes so far does the delight of life increase; for, when the desire of ruling diminishes and disappears, then love itself, and, with love, delight, rules; and when love rules, then the Lord God rules: thence is all happiness in marriages.


There are others, as many as is necessary, who are on the left, in a certain altitude - and some below - chiefly at the left there, who are skilled in the art of being able to bind the thoughts, and also to induce on others the phantasies that the gates are closed; and also, on those who wish to go out, that there are marshy and similar obstructions outside the city. Those who are skilled in such arts are kept there and rewarded. This is permitted for the sake of defending themselves against the evil. Nevertheless, they pick these out, so that they may not be altogether infernal.


There was a certain one who wished to be admitted into the city for the sake of ruling. It was Nerez, who was an infernal and a sorcerer and more desirous than others of ruling. They instructed me as to his quality. He was admitted, and he then took to himself many others desirous of ruling, ([amongst them] Carl Gyllenborg). When they came into the city, they wished to rule; and, because they so wished, he commenced desiring to bind some one behind the back in his abominable way, and also to open the roofs and admit magical ideas from outside. When these ideas were bound up, and those who wished to bind people behind the back were expelled, then, with his associates, he wished to excite the women against their husbands. But they were aware of his intention, and therefore refused. After this they wished to excite to rebellion those who were at the left, of whom it has been previously said that they were acquainted with the art of binding [ideas] and of inducing phantasies; but they also were restrained from complying. Wherefore, since they labored in vain, they desired to depart. And then there happened to them in the city such an experience as has been above described - the gates were closed at every point.


This went on even to vexation; and then they were let out, and the phantasies were also induced upon them that they could neither get away nor return; and this until they were so harassed that they earnestly wished never to return to those people again.


The Dutch know better than others what is phantasy, and what is real appearance; so that they cannot be deluded like others. Whenever this does happen, it indeed occurs to them as if it is so, because the real appearance is then obscured; but yet they know that it is phantasy, and it vanishes away. Wherefore, those among them who are prudent cannot be led in this manner to the closed gates within the city, nor, as regards them, can such things be presented without the city as have been mentioned above.


It is not permitted to say anything to them concerning religion; but when anyone of another religion comes to them, they examine him - not by living voice and oral answers, but they enter into his thoughts and explore for themselves; partly when he is not aware, partly indeed when he knows that they are exploring him but still does not know what [is going on] hence they draw out what lies hidden with those who come to them. Their priests explore doctrinals, and the rest, perhaps such matters as pertain to trade.


It should be known that their business is trading; and, if anyone comes to them, they wish to know their ware and to see them. They tell them, however, that they have no business coming to them with wares; but that they [i.e. the citizens] may come to them and thus get for themselves whatever they need.


I was afterwards with some of the priests who explored in this way; and when I spoke with them about the Lord, according to true doctrine, they then laid hold of it altogether, and because they were, at the time, in illustration, they acknowledged it, and were also exceedingly affected. From which experience, and likewise from the rest, it was also given me to know that they have apprehension of truth, both spiritual and civil; also, that they look out for themselves prudently, and that this is implanted in them more than in others.


I spoke with angels: and it was said that those who are in good without truth are in adulterated good, and those who are in truth without good are in falsified truth; which is evident from those who are of the Catholic religion. Their simple-minded are in good without truth; for the reading of the Word is denied them, and they do not hear mass save in the Latin language, and truths are hidden from them in every way, so that they may be kept in darkness and believe in their clergy, that thence they may be led by them, for the sake of rule and for the sake of gain. Therefore, goods with them are wholly adulterated. According as they depreciate the Word, they arrogate to themselves Divine power over heaven and earth, worship men and make works meritorious. They call enriching monasteries, which abound, besides many such things, holy works. From this good is their holiness, which cannot be internal - for internal holiness is by means of the truths of faith - but only external.


(But they [who] are in truths without good, falsify truths, as may be evident from the fact that they reject good works from their theology, and consign it to moral doctrine; that [they teach that] faith alone saves, by which many believe that doctrinal faith alone saves; that man can be justified by faith alone, of which they talk much and few understand anything; that man can be saved by faith in the last hour of life, no matter how he had lived; that introduction into heaven is of mercy, and this even in the other life, so that the devils themselves are able to be saved out of mercy: besides many similar notions.) Hence it is apparent of what quality is doctrine, and thence of what quality is the Church, if truth is without good and good without truth. There was a certain one, who thought from the principle of faith alone concerning the doctrinals of his Church - removing good. It was Dalborg, and he went over everything on that principle and could not light upon any truth; but, when he admitted good, he saw many things, by means of certain accommodations.


CONCERNING DIVINE HUMAN OF THE LORD, IN THE HEAVENS FROM THIS EARTH. The Divine Human is acknowledged everywhere in heaven except in the heaven which springs from Christendom in this earth - but this is only in the lowest heavens. But in the third heaven, all angels whatsoever acknowledge God under the Human form, thus the Lord. Those, therefore, from this earth, who are such that they can be elevated into the third heaven, come then, at once, into that perception, that God is under a Human form; for such a perception is there given to them, and appears as if ingrafted, because those there are in the good of love to God, thus to the Lord. 5032-1 Nor in that heaven are they acquainted with such a thing from knowledge, but from a perception which is from the good of love to God. The angels in the lowest heavens also believe in the Lord, but according to the doctrine of the Church in the world. They have their life, from thence, with them, and are not removed from it save by degrees. Also, the inmost in the spiritual heaven, by whom there is communication of the spiritual kingdom with the celestial, are in that perception, when they turn themselves to the celestial kingdom.


That that perception is ingrafted in those who are in the third heaven, is also from the fact that the whole heaven flows according to such a form as is in man, for there is a complete correspondence; and, because this is the case, and they are in that flow of heaven, and by it and according to it, thus according to order, will and think, therefore their perception is primary; for upon it the remaining things [of their life] are founded. The angels, also, who come to them, are thence distinguished as to whether they are of the angels of the third heaven.


CONCERNING SWEDISH CITIES, ALSO CONCERNING THE LAST JUDGMENT, AND CONCERNING THE SWEDISH NATION. The Swedish nation also dwell in cities, for the reason already mentioned, that, namely, they may thus be kept in some interior fear of the punishments of the law, and of the loss of reputation on account of gain and honors. That fear remains after death when they are in cities; and when they are outside of cities it passes away. And the Swedish cities, as it is also elsewhere, are numerous; nevertheless, they are near each other, so that they are able to come in a minute from one to another. They are distinguished by somewhat of distance, or something of a wall, and the cities are associated according to the diversity of the character or disposition of the people. Disposition and character is according to those natural goods (or evils) and the truths (or falses) which thence result; thus, they are in the east, south, west and north. For the most part, one nation is associated into one such associated city; but they are conjoined in the following manner: when the evil are associated into cities, the worst of them are in the midst, and by degrees, towards the circumferences, are the better sort; thus are the evil guarded who are within. But in cities where the good are, the best are there in the middle, and by degrees, towards the circumferences, are such as are not so good, and, sometimes, evil ones who are capable of being reformed. Wherefore the angels who are above and within, are able at once to know of what quality a city is. They look at their disposition and genius from the doctrine of good and truth, and thence from life. Hence it is, that cities in the Word signify doctrine.


As respects the Swedish cities, there is the capital, Stockholm; towards the east was Fahlun; towards the north Boras; and so forth - all, however, in one city. Those also who dwell in the provinces remote from the cities, have their houses there and live in cities still. The reason, too, is, that those who are evil act as robbers; for there are depredations of various sorts with the evil, which they practice as soon as they are outside the cities, thus, out of danger to their life, of the law, and to their reputation. But the cities named are inhabited by the evil.


The good, however, are associated in another city, which is like Gothenburg, in the midst of which are those who were uniformly honest in life. At first, they generally live in houses similar to those they had lived in during life; but they are changed afterwards, according to the changes of the state of their life.


As respects the Swedish nation in general, it is amongst the wicked nations - goods are adulterated amongst them, and also truths; for they are more addicted to inward thinking than other nations, at the present day, as they are free in comparison with former times, when they were under absolute government. Interiors burst forth, and appear more quickly, in the other life, than was formerly the case. Formerly, indeed, they were ambitious, also; but more secretly. The fear of the king and his power then held them in check, and kept the fire of their loves as it were under the ashes, which, still, bursts out. The Swedish nation, for the most part, have no regard for civil good, or civil truth, which are of the law and hence of morals, but they adulterate the good of the law and its truth; as much as they can. They also have no regard for the good and truth of religion; wherefore they only confess it with the mouth, and say they are Christians, but they are anything rather than that; for civil good and civil truth is the fundamental of religion, for it is of the life, or of works.


This was shown by means of a representative as is customary in the other life. There appeared a certain one above, with a knife and scissors (knif och sax). The knife represents and signifies the good of civil life, and the scissors (sax) the truth of civil life. Then the evil who were in that great city, when they beheld these things, rejoiced, and were delighted with them, and also called it ingenious, clever and prudent; and by this was signified, that those who adulterate goods and truths are applauded for such things, and are loved and promoted to honors and profit. It was observed that the knife and scissors had such efficacy as to be able to penetrate to man's inmosts; which was a proof, that they can completely adulterate goods and also truths, even to such a degree that it is impossible to resist. But those who are of the better sort did not rejoice, or care about the matter; some, because they were not skilled in adulterating goods and truths; others knew how but were unwilling to practice it: thus, for every variety of reason.


When that knife and scissors were exhibited from a higher place, the better sort were separated from the evil, by angels from the Lord; the better ones, also, departed from the city; and then that great city, thus compounded, sank down: its midst, deeply; and the rest of the great city sank down, nearly like when water descends, vertically, through an orifice. When they sank down, the houses were first overthrown; and then they began to build the city anew there, but this time in another order, of which mention is made elsewhere. 5039-1 The order is, that the worst sort are in the middle and those who are not so evil in the circumferences. But of what nature the arrangement is, cannot be known to those who are there, but [only] by angels from the Lord; for it occurs according to all the variety of their evil, and consequently false, nature.


How wicked, and criminal are the most of that nation, cannot be described. Among the worst are magicians who in the world have practiced evils. In the other life they practice those things to a still worse extent; but they are the more speedily vastated. But those who have practiced in the world skilful arts, such as mechanics, gardening, and the like, turn such things into magic, and perpetrate dreadful enormities; but these it is not permitted to describe, as they are such as cannot fall into the apprehension.


The better sort, also, associate themselves into cities, outside of the great one, at distances, and post guards; but still they are continually pestered by robbers, for these go forth from the great city when the others are unaware, and also when they are in disjoined thought, and then they infest these better ones; whereby these are obliged to betake themselves to another place.


Furthermore, a part of the great city sank down still deeper, and the Fahlun part deeper yet; for the reason that the evil [there] are more interior than the rest: at this day, they have become worse than they were formerly; and this has come to pass on account of their governor (Anders Swab) who has divided the people in the following way: - He has allured by profits and money, and rewarded, all who stood upon his side, and honored them both by manner and words. The rest, no matter of what character they were, honest or dishonest, he has persecuted in every way; he has deprived them of their gains; he has slandered them himself and through others; in a word, he has sown discords, from inward hatred, in the whole community there. Therefore, these people, inasmuch as integrity was hereditary with them from ancient times, and thereby, also, they were interiorly wise; and because they have, yet, destroyed these things in themselves - therefore, they are now, at this day, among the worst communities in Sweden; wherefore they sank down more deeply than the others.


In brief, the Swedish nation is worse than the others in Europe, excepting the Italian nation and the Russian; for they think interiorly and not in externals; thus, they [in becoming evil] have surrendered their all. Like many others, they can prefer external sincerity to everything else, to such a degree that they are able, in the other life, to deceive, by that external sincerity, whomsoever they wish. They think more inwardly in themselves than others do; but this does not appear in externals. It was ascertained, that, interiorly, they harbor hatreds, the revenge of hatred, and ferocity, and as was also shown - that [they harbor] the cunning of hatred, or of revenge, even to the ruining of others; all of which things are revealed in the other life; for, there, interiors are exhibited. They do all things for friends who favor them, and their reputation, honor, and gain, and agree thereto, - such alone do they accept as friends; nor have they any respect for honesty, sincerity, justice, Christian good, and good intentions thence - which to them are matter of no moment - if people do not favor their cupidities and loves. They harbor deadly hatred against those who do not favor them, and are their enemies; and, in the other life, they labor with all diligence, in conjunction with the hells, to destroy the salvation of all there. It was shown of what quality, as to the cunning of hatred, and the revenges thence, are those who are in cunning, and, by means of cunning, devise plots. Since such is the nature of their craftiness, they appear at the back. Once, while I was asleep, they were all at the back, and there devised such things to the ruin of the good as can never be described. Their plot was investigated, and, also, how they prepared all things for it; and it was found to be such as no one could ever credit. They placed at the back such as were still upright, into whom they insinuated the persuasion that they were good and the good were evil. They held the neck and head; and, by this means, the thoughts and will were so bound, that interior thought from the Lord could scarcely flow in. Those who were mechanicians, there, and evil, devised means (which appear like ropes) for fastening these things in various ways, by means of correspondences, so that the influx of interior thought is further hindered. In a certain place they placed a certain madman, who, by many and magical modes, induced passion and anger; for thus influx into interiors is impeded.


They also took, from hell, such a one as was able to induce faith in all the good who were around me, and given as a guard. This one could induce [the belief] that the Lord God was in him - by which persuasion, also, they were seduced; and, afterwards, those [evil ones] were able to avert the minds of the others, by an influx of external sincerity from them: besides this, with wonderful activity, they opened the hells in the depths, so that they rose to their assistance and placed themselves under the neck. Many of the leaders removed themselves to a great distance, on to a lofty place, whence they could behold all things, both those things which were around me, and the hells. They also made a communication and an opening for many, from a deep hell, there; so that they might also be able to call forth assistance thence. These and many other things were arranged by them, while I slept; and, when I awoke, I was so bound that I almost came into despair; but, after a few hours, the bonds were loosened, and they [who fixed them] were seen and recognized and delivered up to punishment; but, still, those who can feign external sincerity do not mind punishments, for they are always raised up by the upright. Moreover, also, many of the diabolic crew, of the Catholic religion, associated themselves together: these conspired with one another, and brought assistance from a certain lofty mountain.


But as it is now the last time of the Church, and thus the Last Judgment, therefore, for such, at the present day, hells are prepared, into which they are immediately let down when they come into the other life; so that it is not permitted them to wander around, in this way, and destroy; for, were not this the case, not any of the men from that nation can be saved.


In that nation more than others, is the love of governing, with some on account of honor, with others, of profit; for they are not wealthy like other nations, and hence, nearly all seek after public employments; and, since they have interior thoughts, therefore, in the other life, they, more than others, devise malicious arts, and such as cannot be described, for the sake of being eminent above others, and of injuring others; for, in the love of governing there dwells contempt, enmity, envy, hatred, revenge, ferocity, cruelty. Those who have exercised their intellectual faculty by means of such pursuits as mechanics, gardening, and the like, know, better than others, how to devise the most deceitful arts. Those of them who are of such a character, were collected, by worse ones being let in among them; for by this means are the minds of all discriminated, and arranged according to their differences, and afterwards remanded to suitable hells. I saw a considerable crowd, thus collected, cast into a hell which was at a distance in front, in the plane of the left foot. A chasm was opened there, and through that they were thrust down. When it was opened, it appeared as if the diabolic crew, there, rushed out on high: there was the appearance, as it were, of a column of such on high: and there appeared a whirlpool, as it were of water, gliding down through the chasm, in a vortex; and those who were thrust down thither, as it were glided down through that chasm; but, yet, there were ways, by which the crew mentioned, which was numerous, descended. They were afterwards heard in that chasm; and it was perceived that there was a wide space there, and that many myriads could be cast in thither.


It was perceived that such as are strongly possessed by the lust of ruling, and are interiorly evil, are to be cast down into that hell immediately after their death in the world, in order that they may there be vastated; for, up to this point, very many are vastated in the world of spirits, and this for many years; for all vastation takes place from head to heel - whereof, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, I shall treat elsewhere. ((It was perceived that unless this had happened, scarcely anyone from that nation could have been saved.))


It was said that those who descended by that whirlpool into hell, are yet so regulated that no one can treat another with violence without incurring grievous punishment; and this even until he desists. This happens through their arrangement by the Lord.


They complained that it should be so done to them in the other life, when yet in the world they have lived morally; but they got the reply, that those who are greatly affected with the frenzy and lust of ruling, cannot be ruled through heaven by the Lord, because they cannot receive influx thence; wherefore, they are ruled by the hells, and are treated in whatever way is agreeable [to the hells]. Their interiors also appeared closed, and as it were black - a sign not only that they were closed, but also that hatred, revenge, and similar things, reigned in them. Such characters, also, in the world, have no care for those things which belong to heaven and the Church: they merely frequent churches from habit; so that they are able to speak of those things with the mouth.


Those who are sent down into that hell are delivered to such ones, who have power over them, and are their punishers, as long as they intend evils. These are expert in all things which contribute to terrify them; they are kept under these, thinking, willing, speaking and acting, morally and temperately, to which they are mainly compelled by chastisement; in this way they are, at last, vastated, and fear to do evil: thus, with these, fear reigns. The punishers are of many kinds: there are the evil; there are a better sort; there may even be such as are interiorly angels (though of this they are unaware), but are exteriorly evil. These take up the office of punishers, that the external of those [punished] may be reduced to agreement with their internals. Hence it is manifest, that punishers are never wanting; wherefore they have power by influx: so neither are there wanting moderators of the hells. Those who, from the natural or external man, wish to rule, but are interiorly good, can become punishers. Also menservants and maid-servants are there given up to their masters and lords, who are also of such a genius. The masters and lords explore and observe their disposition, and love to amend them in various ways. These were such as in the life of the body have excelled in ingenuity.


5016-1 See Nos. 5012-5014.

5032-1 The Latin edition has, here, a marginal note, "no. 10,159," evidently referring to the Arcana Coelestia, in which work, at the number mentioned, the same truth is declared as in the present place.

5039-1 See no. 5034, above.

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