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

Spiritual Diary


The places provided for them are in the depths, under the rocks. They enter a dark aperture, and a door is opened; and after they have entered, the door is shut; and then they appear no more. I saw them, and knew that their life still remains; and that, when this process is finished, they are then as it were, silly, and go about bereft of understanding, but with a difference in each case according to the life. If they have possessed any rationality, it is preserved; and whatever religion they have had which has not been profaned, remains. Hence, there are differences as respects their foolishness.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE LAST JUDGMENT AND CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. SUCH THINGS AS RELATE TO VASTATION, ARE, MAINLY, CONCERNING THE LUTHERANS, AND THE REFORMED, SO-CALLED. After the many particular vastations of which I spoke above 5202-1 were accomplished, and those companies, which were many, were thrust down from the mountains and rocks, and cast into ponds, marshes, lakes and gulfs, from which they can never ascend - there came, at length, certain ones who placed themselves above others, and incited souls against the Lord, and against the Divine Truth which is from Him. From these, the whole mass, as it were, began to be fermented; and it was observed, that that disturbance and tumult spread around, on every side, in from ten to twenty mountains and rocks, to those who were upon them and those who were beneath, at the foot and even to the summits, where it was believed the heavens were; for they who were there, appeared, to those lower down, like a mist; and it was believed, that the heavens were there. These also, equally with those who were below, got into the tumult; and then some exalted themselves, and the rest adhered to them, and aided them, for the sole purpose of destroying those who were in Divine Truth from the Lord; thus, [of acting] against the Lord. When, therefore, attention was turned to the fact that the contagion spread on every side, then there occurred a general Advent of the Lord. In appearance, it was like a cloudy sphere, which was borne about upon the mountains and rocks and carried down all the dwellers there - not by casting them down, as before, but by so bearing them away that it did not appear whence it occurred; for that Divine Sphere passed over into their interiors, which were of the will, or heart, and snatched them away, and they were transferred, in a moment, to lower places, and to the hells to which they corresponded; and this to the number of myriads. This was done inside of an hour's time. That Divine sphere was borne round about, in a circular course, returning several times; and thus it carried down all those who revolted. They who were not carried down, were not visible, because they were hidden. They were those who did not revolt. Those mountains and mountain-tops receded and sank down, some quite to the plain. The cities were cast down, and desolation appeared everywhere. This was the destruction of heaven and earth which, in the genuine sense, is meant by the Last Judgment, in the Word; and, in the place of these things, a new heaven and new earth [are now] looked for.


Those who were on the mountains and rocks, were they who are mentioned in the Apocalypse as of the second resurrection; for the second resurrection is the resurrection of those who are in the latter days of the Church; who, also, are evil. Those are of the first resurrection, who lived in primitive times, also those of the times next following, and were good. 5203-1


CONCERNING THE GULFS, WHICH ALSO, ARE HELL. LAKES OF SULFUR. There are gulfs, which are wide and long and also deep, with caverns at the sides, having also doubled and tripled depths. When one comes to them, they appear, above, as if a fiery smoke were exhaling from them. They are in the extremities of each world, so that they are interstitial in their position. There are three: one on the left side, one in front, and the third - which is further removed - intermediate between the two former. This third gulf is a lake of sulfur.


Thither are sent all of those who cannot be reduced to subjection by punishments, namely, the vicious, who have contrived atrocious and very numerous schemes for injuring others. When this disposition in them cannot be reformed, they are cast into one of those [gulfs]. The second, which is in front, is more dreadful than the rest. Wherefore those are cast thither who are wickeder than others.


There is, in addition, a gulf at the right, which is darker than the rest, by reason of the fact, that the evils [there dealt with] are more numerous; and the evil spirits who have occupied the mountains and rocks are cast down [thither].


CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF BABEL, AND THE CASTING INTO THE LAKE OF SULFUR. It has been seen, on several former occasions, how those of the Catholic religion are circumstanced, who have been prelates, monks, and such as have been set over others, namely, that some of them are in the east, where the Lord is as the sun. The Lord is above the heavens, like the sun of the world is above the earth. But those of that religion who are there, have, by phantasy in themselves, made for themselves the semblance of a sun; but this is from magical phantasy, which is in externals, and inwardly [that semblance] is foul and devilish. They placed therein a certain devil whom they called Christ; and those around, went to him and came back, and he told them that he has given them all his power and they may do what they will; also, that it must always appear, by means of the phantastic sun, that they are in his favor. All this time, there were no Jesuits there. Thus they persuaded the common people, and held them in their former persuasion, lest they should, in any way, arrive at the knowledges of truth and good. That phantastic sun was worshipped, altogether as though it were Christ. This continued for some time; but, when light from heaven was let in upon it and its quality made evident, then that sun was obscured, and made darkness, and the devil inside it appeared in a certain vessel - a large vat - which glided down. And yet [that sun] was again restored by them, through phantasies, and another devil entered - a certain one known to me in the world, who is now a devil; and it so occurred several times. But these [suns] were destroyed; the people were cast into hells; and this went on continually, for there were always many fresh arrivals. At a distance, behind these, in a corresponding position in the west, was a mountain full of that sort, who called themselves Christ; and, whithersoever they came, they had just such a sphere as though they were Christ, and this in such a powerful degree, that the simple-minded were altogether led away, and believed it to be so; for they feigned humility, piety and the like, whereby the simple were deceived. They also said, when they were with me, that Christ was in them, to save them and protect them from the diabolical crew; besides many similar things. They were also able to seduce others besides the simpleminded. They proceeded, there, along an extended way, and applied themselves near the occiput; and there they acted in concert with the diabolical crew round about; still alleging that they protected, until, at length, they were exposed as being devils under angelic form, and as having derived this [quality] from the fact, that, in the world, they desired to rule all things, in the name of the Lord. There was a great multitude of them, and they continued for a considerable time; but they were afterwards cast out of that mountain into a gloomy hell, immediately beneath the mountain there. I saw companies of them; and a great multitude were cast thither. They are seducers of an interior kind; and they combined with the hells round about. I saw, and spoke with them, frequently.


Others of that religion were towards the north, at some distance, on mountains and rocks looking eastward. They seduced the common people in this way: they placed a certain devil very high up on one of the rocks, and, by means of phantasy, induced upon him a beard, and shouted out, saying that he was God the Father. They said, also, that they worshipped him; and, nevertheless, those impious wretches inspired into him whatever they wished; he only gave answer in accordance with their pleasure. Such was the impiety they devised; and they who did this, aspired to govern all, by means of that devil. But this atrocious deed was brought to naught; the mountain and rock were cast into hell, with all on them who did this thing; and, afterwards, the crew who worshipped that devil, and were evil. Amongst those who did this were many Jesuits, several of whom were then put down into the valley. They worshipped a devil; and it was granted to a devil to govern them at his pleasure; and, afterwards, these, also, were cast into the hells underneath that place.


I spoke, on several occasions, with such as said that Christ has no power but has resigned it all to them; and that the pope possessed it, and others received it from him. When I told them that the Lord has all power; that He alone, because He is God, is able to save the human race; that the pope can do nothing at all towards saving anyone; and that, in this way, they make themselves out to be gods, in order that they may possess the souls of men, and then also the world - besides many other things - it produced no effect.


But [concerning] Babylon itself, and its destruction, I saw the following things: - I was introduced, in a wakeful vision, into a certain house like the palace on the Capitoline hill at Rome, where [was] the seat of a senator there; I was also introduced to him, and spoke to him. He, in conjunction with some others, was endeavoring to form for themselves a doctrine according to which they might live. They accepted some things [which I told them], but still gave their assent to the Catholic extravagances. I said many things to them.


But there was, round about, a multitude of such as are called prelates, and also cardinals; and, when they perceived that I spoke with that senator, and he seemed to accept certain things I said respecting the Lord, they organized a rebellion against those who were there. It was a vast multitude that entered into the conspiracy. They extended along my right side, where the quarter of the south is. The house was besieged, and they began to break in the windows and rush inside, saying that he accepted some doctrines of another religion; and, while the conspiracy was going on, I awoke, and saw at the entrance, as it were his dead body, which they wished to drag away, but in vain.


Afterwards, the conspiracy, which involved a great multitude of such as were upon the hills for a very considerable extent around, was exposed. Whilst I saw this there, I fell asleep; and then that conspiracy was directed at me, they besieging me around on every side, and also in a long row extending to the farthest boundary, wishing, in this way, to destroy me utterly. But I then awoke, and was brought away from there; and, after that, their overthrow commenced. Nearly all were overthrown, and cast into that fourth gloomy gulf of which I spoke above. 5212-1 Many thousands were thus overthrown and cast in; and this, until the riot was quieted.


After this, my sight was opened as far as one of their boundaries, where sat their leading men, who defended and directed all of them. There were as many as fifty. They devised heinous schemes, to the end that they might hold the common people in obedience, and that the latter might worship them as gods, and might not think at all about God, still less about Christ. A multitude came to them and sought to be admitted into heaven. They granted these whatever they were able to. They made them promises; and, by means of their abominable art, they filled many places with men, of various sorts, to whom they sent those who sought to be introduced into heaven. One place was for those who wished to possess heavenly joy. They were sent to a lofty place upon a rock; and, when they came thither, all who were there, sported, and danced, and brought them into the dances. But, after they had danced there for some time, they were affected with loathing, and came down; for they told others that they wished to have something else, which they called a marvel. By these, they were led away to a place where were those who made each other laugh, and brightened up their feelings in this way; but doing nothing else than sitting in such a condition. But, inasmuch as they had no active work, they were affected with loathing here also, and withdrew wishing for other joys. They were, therefore, sent into [other] such societies, in like manner, and with like results. By such mockeries, they [the evil] seduced the simple-minded, planning nothing else than to be worshipped as gods and possess heaven. They said that that power had indeed been given to Peter, but that it was given them by God the Father, whom they also placed aloft upon a certain mountain. But these, also, were cast into the gulfs; part into the first, and part into the fourth. 5213-1


Behind these, were seen as many as fifty cardinals, attired just as on earth; and I heard them speaking with the former, of how they deal with the common people, namely, that they cast all of those who do not worship them into some pit, which was in place of the Inquisition in the world; and they serve many so; and they also strive, with abominable art, to deprive them of life itself (which, however, is impossible), by tearing out their heart: and this, moreover, just as often as they saw them. Thus [they attempted their life] by tormenting them with various tortures, for the sole reason that they did not worship them as gods. They leave no power at all to the Lord. Since this is their nature, they are cast into the lake of sulfur, but, at first, at the right side of it.


It was stated, that no one ever appears [to the Catholics] who had been pope in the world; and that if he should appear, he would be carried away in a moment, and cast into a place which corresponds to his life, altogether like other men.


Their situation was this. The more remote ones ruled those who were towards the front, consequently, the cardinals were the more distant. They inflowed into the lowest parts of the left foot, because they were more sensual than others. The most deeply evil of that religion inflowed into the testicles, and occasioned a certain pain in their inner parts: a sign that they were opposite to the interiors of heaven.


They who were carried off into the lakes, were carried away in a moment; for, when the divine is admitted, then, instantly, they are where their loves are; for everyone's place is according to his love, because everyone's love is his life.


They were told how great is the wickedness they commit. They altogether keep man back from the divine truths by means of which they have the way to salvation; for they do not permit them to read the Word. They [the people] hear masses in the Latin language; and there is nothing of doctrine in the masses. They persuade them to believe as they do, and to live by their faith. They draw them away from the Lord to worshipping men in the world, and to worshipping men whom they have made saints. And they do all these things, to the end that they themselves may rule over souls, from self-love; and they also strive, by various arts, to possess the earth. To promote these abominable ends, they employ holy means, which belong to the Church - which is profanation. Wherefore, they are Babel, and Babylon, and "the beast" mentioned in the Apocalypse. 5218-1


There are societies into which they sent those who sought heaven. For instance, when any sought to be joyful, they sent them into a society where they always wear joyful countenances; yet they were straightway affected with loathing. Any who sought to be in a contented frame of mind, they sent into a society, where they sat still, and merely thought, without doing anything; but, since they were affected with tedium, they departed thence. Any who sought the delight of social interaction, were sent to a place where the delights of social interaction were provided; but these also were affected with tedium. Those who sought an active life, asked for whatever they wished to do; wherefore, they were sent to a place where weavers' looms were set up; but these also departed in disgust. Any who sought intoxication, also obtained it. In a word, everyone obtained according as he sought, except they sought to love God; this they were not able to grant: besides many other things. Such mockeries do they practice on spirits, of that religion, who have recently come into the other life. Those who have frequently withdrawn [from their mock-heavens], at length acknowledged that these are not able to grant heaven, but only to mock others with such things. Wherefore, when they are instructed, they ridicule these impostors, and depart from them altogether.


The greatest part of those who have arrogated to themselves the Divine power of saving men, and have thus denied that power to the Lord, and therefore have diminished from His Divinity, are cast into the fourth gulf, 5220-1 or chasm, which is towards the north, consequently, into the dark one; for such ones are in utter blindness, and also in wickedness. I saw a great number cast thither. Their life, there, is infernal; it consists in hatreds, in revenge, in ferocity, continual strifes and intestine enmity.


They sit at the right, that is towards the south, around a table, and deliberate concerning worship: as to how God should be worshipped in the event of His granting them the power of governing on earth in His stead, and how they should act, in case He did not grant it. Also, how they should manage so that, to the common people, it may appear that heaven is given by them: and very many other things. They do all these things to the end that they may take away from the Lord all power of saving the human race, and have the power themselves. I heard them saying to one another, when they [once] heard about the life of faith and love, that they never knew that faith and love gave them any life, either intellectual or voluntary; but that man just as much possesses each without faith and love as with. They did not at all understand, when in the world, that those things which are of faith, and thus of divine truth, constitute the spiritual intellectual life, and that those things which are of love, and thus of divine good, constitute the celestial voluntary life with man, and hence his wisdom and happiness. Such things were then a laughing-stock with them, as empty phantasies. In such wise, I heard them speaking together. They added, that they placed intellectual life in well-devising matters so as to obtain what they wish, thus in arts and wickedness. Such things they called intelligence and wisdom; and they placed the life of their love in the love of ruling over others and acquiring possession of the whole world.


The Lord compares the Kingdom of God to leaven, to a man gathering tares, and also to a net. All of these are presented and seen in the other life. As respects the leaven an evil spirit is sent into societies that are upon the mountains, rocks, or hills, and inspires lusts; as a consequence of this, that whole multitude ferments, as it were. Some of them act in concert with him; some do not so act; some dissent. Those who act in concert with him, turn their faces towards him; those who do not act in concert, turn their faces away. Then, all those who turned their faces to him are gathered into one company, and cast out of the mountain, or rock, into hell. This is the gathering of the tares into bundles. Those who are cast down thither from those places, appear, as it were, to be drawn in a net; and they are thus brought down to the places where they are to be.


THE PHANTASIES OF HELL. In hell, the loves of self and the world reign; and, hence, enmities, bickerings, hatreds, revenge and ferocity are there prevalent. They torment each other, either by open force, or by magical arts, which are effected by the abuse of correspondences or by means of phantasies: by means of phantasies, they make them into whatever monsters they please.


The phantasies of sirens are very numerous. They induce upon themselves lovely forms and most elegant garments. They present to the view beautiful houses and many decorations in them; but, inasmuch as they are external forms without internals, they perish in a moment, and then foul things are presented to the sight.


I saw sirens present themselves as girls and children and also as boys and youths. They clothe themselves with garments loaded with silver. Indeed, I saw a certain one presenting herself like a cloud, or shadow, lying in the shade of light, in a chamber. I saw a man who was able to induce on himself different faces, and to change them in various ways, also to put on the face of a noble, a king, a pope, and likewise of a rustic, as, too, of a soldier with arms, and also the face of a lovely maiden and of a beautiful woman of more advanced age; and he always clothed himself in suitable garments, thus, in garments fitted to the condition of the character he assumed.


Those who act by correspondences are very numerous. They know how to obtain garments by means of ideas and affections, and to clothe themselves with them, since they have the power of presenting something similar, besides unnumbered other things; for such things abound, and with such things the hells are filled. But they are all mockeries.


CONCERNING THE JEWS. The Jews appeared at the right, in a plane under the sole; and they were there together, and always in the state in which they have been in the world. They insisted, at first, that they alone were the elect; but, since this did not come to pass, they abandoned their opinion, and remained in their state. By degrees, they vanish and are dispersed, and become robbers. Their nature is obstinately insistent, which was represented with those who were beneath, who fell upon their belly and prayed; nor did they refrain before they obtained their request: besides many other things. They are now rejected, and few of them appear, according to the Lord's words. 5227-1


CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE IN FAITH ALONE. Where I previously wrote about vastation, or the Last Judgment, and about the casting-out from the rocks and mountains - those who underwent those things were those of the Christian religion who are in faith alone, and have thought nothing about life, but only about doctrine, which they have learned for no other use than for the sake of reputation, honor and gain; nor do they know what [a good] life is. All such are vastated; and they are understood by the goats who were on the left. A certain one, Rudberg, excited them. He merely defended the doctrine, not caring whether the things he defended were true or not, if only they belonged to their doctrine. They care nothing about the life.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF BABEL. In that chamber which is at the right, where the southern quarter is, several sat at a table, as above said. That referred to the papal consistory; for it is not allowed these to have a consistory, as is done in the world. But, further removed towards the south, were those who had been cardinals, who ruled those who were in the chamber. The popes were still further off; but they did not dare to show themselves; for, as often as they showed themselves and wished to govern, they were cast down, and at the same time subjected to punishment, and, in fact, were cast into a certain abyss. Those who were in that chamber, directed their gaze all round about, as far as the distant mountains. They were granted communication throughout the whole tract where that religion prevailed; and they continually gave them their commands, what should be done. I wondered that they extended their dominion to such a remote distance. Those directed behaved obsequiously, as if [the commands had proceeded] from the papal consistory. Those who were in that chamber were changed daily, and others succeeded in their place. The cardinals at the back effected this. Those in the chamber once said, that they are continually able to live and accomplish this, without Divine influx. At that time, there were such characters there as altogether denied the Divine; but influx from heaven was then taken away from them, and they all speedily fell down as if dead, with faces ghastly, like corpses. The cardinals and others there, entered and saw it; but they were immediately cast out of the place, as it were into the northern gulf, and others succeeded instead of them.


The matters which now follow, are more important than the preceding. For half a day, which speedily passed, there was, as it were, a tranquillity with me; but yet I perceived that there was a great tumult round about. There were then gathered together all who have been of higher rank than the rest in monasteries and churches - monks, bishops, priests, prelates - amounting, from all sources, to myriads; and this in the whole region around. When all were gathered together, and separated from others, it then appeared that they schemed against the Lord; and that they thought that He has no power, and the greatest part of them that there is no Lord, but that they have all power: [it appeared], also, that they only profess Him to the end that they might govern. In a word, the greatest part were entirely atheistic; and yet they were such as were exalted above others, and they proclaimed the Lord as most holy. They then began to persecute those whom the Lord protected, or who were the Lord's; for angels were sent forth from heaven, and against these they directed their persecutions. It was then said, with a loud voice which was heard everywhere round about, that they persecute the Lord; in fact [they persecute] those whom the Lord has sent and protects, but they believe the Lord is in them. They also make Him of no account, and deny Him, in heart, although, from hypocrisy, they had worshipped Him most holily in the world: besides other like things. It was then seen that many withdrew from them - all those, namely, whom they called forth that they might stand on their side and fight against the Lord. Those receded, saying that they had not believed them to be of such a character; but that they themselves acknowledge the Lord. After this, there remained all those who either depreciated, or denied, the Lord, and arrogated all power to themselves, in the name of the Lord. They then numbered more than ten thousand, all eminent in the world.


Then, on my right side, which is the southern quarter, quite a large mountain, there, was divided, or it opened, lengthwise; so that it became a long chasm. Its length ran in a southerly direction, the sides of the chasm were on the east and west; and that parted chasm opened from the western side at a level directly towards the depth; and the depth was greater the nearer it approached the south; so that, at length, no bottom appeared. It was dark there. The eastern slope stood firm. That vast opening was seen, and it was frightful.


I then saw that those who were nearest descended first along that declivity, and that they were driven, by force, to descend, and could not resist. There appeared there an exceedingly high peak, next to that chasm. Those were there who have been in a very high degree of self-love; for these always appear in the higher places; hence, also, those who were there were borne away, and carried down along the declivity. At length, others, also, began to be brought down thither, namely, from the surrounding mountains; and then it appeared that the summits of the mountains became continuous, and cohered; and then, throughout that continuous expanse, a vast multitude was borne down from every mountain round about, both from the western and from the northern quarter, and also from the eastern. All went round towards the west, and were brought down to the declivity just described, and cast down. This lasted for some time; but, to describe in detail how it was done, would be too prolix. In a word, from every mountain, such ones (of whom [I shall speak] afterwards) were carried away, and were cast forth into that very deep chasm; the deeper, according as they have been more in the love of self, and, at the same time, in the denial of the Lord. It was observed, that the higher the place from which they were brought down, the prouder has been their disposition. Some also wished to humble themselves. These appeared to let themselves down, very deeply, at the west; but, since this proceeded from hypocrisy, they were forced to ascend [again], and were [then] cast down in a similar manner to the rest. They amounted to tens of thousands.


It should be known that they who were in the mountains at the south, were such as were, to the greatest degree, in the light of nature, whereby they confirmed themselves against the Divine and in favor of the proprium of man. Those who were in the north, were in the light of nature obscurely, and yet thought in like manner. Those who were at the east, were such as were in the delight of governing in the greatest degree, and also thence in natural light; and they did similarly. Those who were in the west, had been in such [delight] to a less degree. Thus are all distinguished in the other life. They appear thus placed apart in different regions, according to the state of light, or of understanding, and according to the state of love, or of the will. Hence, they were borne away, in succession, according to their state: first, those for the south; afterwards, those for the north; next, those for the east; and, lastly, those for the west. But those who were in the east were taken by way of the north, to the west, and so, to that infernal chasm. I saw the order of the progression.


Afterwards, in that place, that more distant southern mountain, nearly where that chasm, there, terminated, was split open and rolled away, as above described; and then appeared the dwelling of the cardinals, which was spacious; and there were apartments, there, one after another, in long succession. They have been there a long time. In front of those apartments was a chamber. Behind that series of apartments, such apartments were continued to a distance still more remote. It was perceived that the popes were there; but yet they dared not show themselves, because, as often as they did, they were punished. From thence, at the last, many were brought out, and also cast down into the vast chasm of the mountains. A similar dwelling appeared in the north, in an exactly corresponding region, but a great way off, where were similar apartments, and similar persons, namely, cardinals; but they were not so learned, and hence in such great natural light, as those who were in the southern quarter: yet they answered to them. These, also, wished to make themselves a similar chamber there - thus, to conduct consistory; but this was forbidden.


At length, very many were seen to flock together from various mountains, and to be brought down from other places. There was a huge gulf, in the west, at the right there. In that place there appeared, as it were, a vast luminous fiery place. Thither were brought down those who were farthest off; and it was said, that they were those who have sought out from the Word confirmations in favor of the papal power, and of such things as that religion set up; thus, they were those who were more learned in the Word than others, and, nevertheless, in heart denied the Divine. That fiery place I have not seen before.


Those of the crowd of that persuasion [i.e. the Roman Catholic], who have lived in mutual charity, and have done good according to their religion, rejoiced that this happened, saying, that they were previously hindered, by such ones, from thinking of the Lord, and were led astray in every manner; because these [who had been cast down] arrogated all things to themselves, and so obstructed the way to salvation. They took away from these [now treated of] all the means whereby they might be led, and whereby they might be instructed in the Lord's truths.


That great chasm was immensely enlarged below, so that it was a vast subterranean hell, in which those there were carried around and held in order; for every hell is in order. The arrangement into order, in hell, was beheld, in the southern gulf, whither angels were sent by whose means the Lord arranged in order all that were there. The order also appears in agreement with the quarters there; those who are at the south, in that hell, being those who are more in natural light than others, etc.


That infernal chasm into which were cast down those who have been in the loftier places, is kept closed beneath, but is open above; and thither are cast all who have been of such a character, wheresoever found, from the commencement of the Christian religion; into it, also, all such characters, who come from the world into the other life, are still cast; for that hell is now, for the first time, opened, or prepared for them. Hence it is always kept open above. I also saw some cast down afterwards.


Some said that they believed that the Last Judgment takes place in the world, and not in the other life; but this is contrary to the Word where the Last Judgment is treated of (Matt. 24); and it could not be, because the human race is the foundation from which heaven [is raised], and likewise, the Word is there, which serves for a basis: the foundations, also, must not be destroyed. 5239-1 These things happened in the last days of the year 1756.


ON THE FORM OF HEAVEN, AND THE SITUATION OF THE PEOPLES AND NATIONS THERE, AND ON THE MOHAMMEDANS AND GENTILES THERE. Christians are in the middle. Yet they extend to all the quarters, according to their states as to the light [lux] of truth and love of good. The Mohammedans are around that middle part. They constitute the next circumference, or circuit; and this likewise extends around to every quarter. Similar lands, mountains, rocks and valleys exist in these districts. Outside of that circuit are the gentiles, arranged, with respect to the quarters, according to their light [lumen] of truth and love of good. Outside of these, appeared, as it were, the sea, which was the boundary. It should be observed, that all these taken together were spread out, not in a plane, but in a globe like an earth. Wherefore, when I was conducted to the gentiles, after I passed through the Mohammedans I descended obliquely.


I was brought to the Mohammedans, towards the east; and it was given me to speak with them. They said that many Christians, of (they affirmed) the Catholic religion, came to them for the purpose of converting them; but that they perceive this to be for the sake of gain and dominion. They said, they have told them that they could not comprehend how they are able to believe in one God, since they name three, and call each one God, and also declare them to be persons, when yet there is only one God; and that, although they speak of one God, they cannot know how they are able to understand God to be one, after they have named three; and that they say the three make one, when, still, they are three gods whom they call one God. On hearing these things, the angels told them that it is not thus spoken of in heaven; but that that Trine which is called the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is in one person, and is the Lord; also, that there is a Trine in Him, just as there is in an angel - which is said for the sake of illustration: in an angel there is given an esse of life, which is inmost, and in the world is called the soul from the father; there is the existere of life, which appears in the human form; and there is the proceeding thence, which is the sphere of affection, or love, by which an angel is perceived at a distance by others. From this, an idea can be obtained about the Trine in the Lord: the inmost, which is the Esse of life, is what is called the Father; that which is the Existere of life, is the Human, which is called the Son; and that which proceeds, is what is called the Holy Spirit; for it is a Holy Proceeding. It was added, that, in the world, they say that one goes forth, or proceeds, from another - the Son from the Father, and the Holy Spirit from both; but that yet they are entirely ignorant, what going-forth, or proceeding, means; and that they might know that the case was, as stated above, from the Word, from the passages there where the Lord openly says that the Father and He are one - He in the Father and the Father in Him; and that the Holy Spirit does not speak of itself but from Him. Wherefore, if men had been willing, they would have been able to be enlightened respecting that matter, and hence to know and comprehend that the Trine is in One, and so, that there is one God.


The Mohammedans comprehended this, and said that they wish to think about it, inasmuch as their scruple respecting three gods seems to be thus removed.


As respects Mohammed, he is not among the Mohammedans, but among the Christians, a little to the right towards the north-east quarter; and, some time before [I saw them], he was removed nearer to the western quarter, still, however, to the right, as before. The Mohammedans said that he is in that place because he has acceded to the Christian religion. I also heard him speaking there, and saying that he now acknowledges the Lord as the only God, in whom is the Father, who is one with Him; and that the Holy Proceeding from Him is the Divine which fills the heavens and makes the heavens.


After this, I was brought away beyond that circuit where the Mohammedans were, to the gentiles who were towards the east; to whom I was brought downwards, according to the slope of a globe. It was granted me, also, to speak with them. They said that they are sad, because the Divine does not appear to them; and yet that they think of the Divine, worship Him, and speak of Him. They said that if there is a Divine, He ought at least to send those who would teach them; but that they have expected this for a long time in vain - thus affirming that He has deserted them altogether - wherefore, they can see nothing for it but that they must perish. But angels then spoke with them out of heaven, saying, that the Divine could not be manifested to them because they were not willing to believe that God-Man was born in the world; and that until they believe this not anything can be revealed to them; for this is the very primary, and the very fundamental, of all revelations. They said that they do, indeed, believe that God is Man, but that they are not able to believe that God was born a Man in the world, because they are not able to comprehend it. They were answered, however, that He was not born a man in the world like another man, inasmuch as He was not born from a man-father, but that He was conceived of Jehovah Himself - Who was His Father - and was born of a virgin; and that, therefore, He was not conceived and born like another man also, that when He went away from the world, He rose with the whole Human and did not leave anything behind - thus differently from all other men, who leave in the world the whole body that they bore about them there, and never resume it. That nobody resumes it, all those who are there and in heaven, are competent to know - all having been men in the world. Hence they perceived that the Lord was altogether a different Man from the rest of men, both as to His First and as to His Ultimate. It was said, moreover, that men are born of their fathers, whom they resemble as to affections, and that this resemblance is a derivation from the soul of the father; also, that the whole body is nothing but the organ of the life of the soul, and therefore acts in unison with it: which is apparent from the fact, that, whatever the soul thinks and wills, this the body instantly performs; hence, as is the soul, such is the whole man. It is manifest, also, that thought and love shine forth from the face, and thus that the body is the image of its soul. Hence it is evident that the Human of the Lord could not become other than Divine, after the image of Its Father. On hearing these things, they said that they knew no otherwise than that He was like another man, born of a man-father, and likewise so died, and was afterwards regarded by men as God; but that they now knew that the Lord was not such a Man, in the world, as others are. It was further said, that Christians err in this matter, because they make the Human of the Lord like the human of a man, and call this His Human Nature; and that they do not then think of His conception from the Divine Itself, nor of His resurrection, thus, [not] according to what has just been said - when, yet, they have the Word amongst them which teaches them of all these things: also, that all Christians, that is, all in Europe, know, from the Word, that He was conceived of Jehovah, and that He rose again with the whole body which He had in the world. 5244-1


I spoke with Mohammedans concerning the resurrection, saying, that it is believed in Christendom that the resurrection does not take place until all things of the world are about to perish, and that then their bodies and souls would be united: also, that few - scarcely one in a thousand - of the learned knows that man lives a man after death - that is, in the human form. At these things they marveled, saying, that they know they shall live after death and then be men, having cast aside only the covering which served them in the world, in that gross sphere to which the gross body there is adapted. They marveled that Christians should not know this, when yet this is of the greatest consequence.


Many of the Mohammedans become Christians, acknowledging the Lord as the only God, because the Father is in Him and He in the Father. When they are then led into heaven, they are led first to the east and thence to the north; and there they ascend higher and higher as far as the west, and are there in a yet higher place; but, still, [they are] conducted by a circuit, or circular course, according to their situation.


Some of them appeared to go farther, some to descend to the south, some to be carried elsewhere; because, from that part, all are arranged in their appointed places.


Mohammedans are in natural lumen more than Christians, and also desire to know truths more than they. They understood, received and drank in, more readily than Christians, the fact that all things in heaven and earth resolve themselves into truth and good; that, when truth is believed it is of faith, and when good is perceived it is of the love; that two faculties are therefore given to man, namely, understanding and will; and that the truth which is of faith is the understanding, and the good which is of love is the will: further, that, in order that man may be truly man, truth and good must be one, consequently faith and love, and, in general, the understanding and the will. The learned from among the Christians heard these things: some of them also professed faith alone, thus truth alone; and some held to good works alone. The former were of the Reformed, the latter of the Catholics. These could not apprehend those things, when yet the Mohammedans understood them clearly. They also clearly perceived that they who have been in the good of life are in the affection of truth, for the reason that good hungers for truth, since truth is, as it were, the food of good; and that, afterwards, with the same ones, truth longs for good, since truth then receives its life from good, so that there occurs a desire of one for the other reciprocally; and that a man who is a man of wisdom and intelligence, is characterized by this desire. They ascertained that very many of the Christians place intelligence and wisdom in craft, when yet this is contrary to them, and is, therefore, insanity and foolishness. [After this passage is a diagram of a long building with a curved roof and five windows on the side. It appears to be a dwelling, see SE 4832.]


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF BABEL. After these things were accomplished, there came continuous infestations from the northern side verging to the western, nearly where those parts are there joined by the mountain where the vast multitude was. In that place were monks of various orders, and there were others who had assembled in that place from the first origin of Babel; 5249-1 and I wondered how such a multitude could have existed upon one mountain. I was conducted thither, and it was then discovered that there were cities there one under another; and [I passed] thence through a great shaft towards the lower places, and [noticed] that there, also, was a vast multitude, and that they who were below were in the greater distinction, because they were thus in greater security than the ones above: also, that, from them, those who were above had their more important commands. They dwelt in this manner: At A [Fig. 2] was a precipice; the highest habitation, or city, was at BC; a second, at BD; a third, at DE; the shaft, made by windings, through which they descended, at FG; and the lower habitation, where were those of the greater consequence, was at IK. In that place were some from ancient times; but they were separated from the moderns of a similar disposition. There was shown me, there, what sort of dwelling those had who were in the west: more in front, were some who were of the ancients, thus, who were idolaters.


It was said that there were many myriads there, more than hundreds [of myriads]; also, that there were monasteries there, and that all those there subjected these monasteries to themselves, so that they might be lords, and all the rest slaves.


5202-1 Nos. 5184-5186.

5203-1 It is worthy of note that no "second resurrection" is mentioned in the Apocalypse. Swedenborg, at this time, evidently considered that the express mention of a first resurrection (Rev. 20:5, 6), necessarily implied a second. Later in his career, however, he learned better, as may be seen by consulting the work Apocalypse Revealed, no. 851, where, also, the true spiritual significance of the matter here referred to, is given.

5212-1 See no. 5106.

5213-1 See no. 5206, above.

5218-1 The "beast" here alluded to is the "scarlet-beast" on which sat the "great whore," by whom the Roman Catholic religion is represented (chapter 17). The two other beasts, mentioned in chapter 13, both refer to Protestantism. See the explanation of these particulars in the Apocalypse Revealed.

5220-1 See no. 5206.

5227-1 Matthew 8:1; Luke 13:29.

5239-1 There is here a very evident allusion to Psalm 11:3 "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

5244-1 On the margin of this number, in the Latin, the following note is printed "I believe that the soul of man is from a substantial [origin], not life but recipient of life but the Lord's soul was the Life itself which gives life to all; so that the distinction is as that between finite and infinite, thus as that between human and Divine."

5249-1 At this point in the manuscript is a rough diagram to which the letters refer.

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