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

Spiritual Diary


Hence was evident whence it came to pass that so vast a multitude could have place in one mountain, - at which I had previously marveled. Once upon a time, I was also led down into such a city, and brought from thence into a city that was beneath. Hence it was evident that city existed beneath city.


Moreover, a vast multitude was able to conceal themselves in one city, by reason of the fact that great part of them do not appear; for they who are of a different genius from others, or who turn themselves to different quarters there, thus to different falses and evils, or to different loves, immediately become invisible, and only those are visible who are in a similar faith and love with the others. Hence it is, that, sometimes, there appear to the inhabitants some that did not before do so, and that the inhabitants appear, to those who come thither, either few or many. The houses, also, disappear along with them, and reappear when they [i.e. the inhabitants] are again seen. Thus is it with things in the other life; which appears from the fact, that, as soon as a spirit disagrees in opinion with another, he vanishes. This is one way by which spirits render themselves invisible. Another is by phantasies.


Before I was taken quite up to that mountain, I saw an opening, made on the front side, the long way of the mountain; and into this many were cast, just as with the opening made in the southern mountain, above described. 5253-1


I observed that there was visitation there for several hours, and then a silence. The visitation occurred from the Lord, by means of angels; and the famous ones who were in the monasteries there, and wished to be lords of heaven and earth and to rule all souls and subject them to themselves by means of holy things - these famous ones were straightway cast out, partly into the northern gulf, and partly into the southern, according to the obscurity, or clearness, of their natural lumen. All who were in that part were subject to the monks: numberless monasteries were there. Those in the monasteries were a most lazy crew; and they subjugated others by means of sacred things, many also by magic and by phantasies, and the rest by violence; and this to a greater extent than in the world. When I cast my eyes thither afterwards, the monasteries appeared empty.


Those who sat in the windings of the shaft - who also were many - and guarded it, and carried through and communicated the commands and thus held the common people in obedience, were afterwards cast down. They were mingled with the Gentiles who worshipped idols and had no thought of God. They were also cast into lakes and marshes towards the west - of which below.


After this, the rest of the crew was taken away from there, and dispersed hither and thither, according to their evils and goods. Lastly, those who were in the lowest place and ruled over all, to wit, those in IK, 5256-1 amongst whom were cardinals - of these, a great part were cast into the gulfs, and some into the southern chasm into which the mountain was sundered as above described. 5256-2


At length, that place was utterly destroyed, so that nothing mountainous any longer appeared, but the whole appeared like smoke; and this [was borne] into the depth, so that there was no longer any abode there.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE MOHAMMEDANS AND THEIR LAST JUDGMENT. It has been stated above [No. 5240] that these constitute a circle around the Christians, who form a nucleus. I saw that they were brought from the west; and they who were round about there, as much as a great multitude, were brought along a way towards the north-east, apparently in a circular track; and, on the way, those who were evil were cast outside that sphere, where is a space of great extent. These were separated from the rest. There was a desert there, also marshes and ponds, and woods as well; and into these those who led an evil life were cast. This space was at the back of that mountain of which I have spoken just above, where was such a multitude of monasteries which were destroyed with the mountain. At the side of that space, towards the north, was an immense and broad gulf, into which many were cast - of whom below.


The rest went on, by a circuitous way, still farther to the east; and there they spread themselves over a large and extensive space somewhat to the back. Those were brought thither who acknowledged God the Father, and the Son as a Prophet, and [that He], together with the Father, [was] also in the sun. Here, therefore, were the better ones. That ample and wide space was also divided into mountains and valleys, upon which they were arranged; and there they fare well.


Those who were still better, who are such as have enjoyed greater light than the rest, were brought to the front where there is communication with the Christian heaven - it is an intermediate space - and there, being instructed, they receive the Lord, and are thence borne right away towards the south, and there have their heaven behind the Christians in that part; so that they constitute, also, the remoter borders there.


There are two Mohammeds; and they have their place among the Christians, on the left, beneath. Inasmuch as they began to rebel against the Lord, by arrogating power to themselves, therefore, the one who was nearest was cast down from his place into the very depth, and was there bound in chains to such a degree that he cannot move himself; and this along with his satellites. I saw the earth open under them, and they were swallowed up.


Afterwards, the other, who likewise arrogated to himself the power of the Lord, was cast into one of the gulfs.


When this was done, there occurred a great tumult among those Mohammedans who were at the east behind the Christians; but they were brought away from thence, and part of them cast into that desert place before mentioned and the adjoining chasm. The rest were led around; and were either scattered on the way, or brought to the places where their abode was; but some to their heavens in the east and in the south. Many also were brought in a straight way, across the plain where the Christians and the Mohammeds were, towards the west.


CONCERNING THE GENTILES AND THEIR LAST JUDGMENT. The Gentiles constitute a zone still more remote; but the greatest portion are in the east, remote from the Christian world, beyond the Mohammedans. These, also, were brought from thence towards the east; not, however, by a circuit, but above the northern level of the Christians, and - which I marveled at - on high; so that a way was granted them above the Christians, and they did not communicate with them. They were allotted a place around the Mohammedans, at the east and also in the south.


Where the heaven of the Mohammedans is, there, on both sides, appear chasms, descending into the depths. Thither were cast their evil ones, who have worshipped idols and, thought nothing about God, and at the same time have lived an evil life.


There is also a similar chasm on the northern side of the Mohammedan desert. Thither were cast their worst ones; also, those of the Catholic religion who worshipped images of the saints and thought nothing about the Lord. These were mingled with the Gentiles and cast thither.


Those of the Catholic religion who have adored images and have not thought of the Lord, are removed from the northern region, under the mountains there, and mingled with the Gentiles, and brought with them to their places, just like the Gentiles, because their lot is similar.


Next, I saw the whole northern valley, as far as the mountains there, completely upturned, and all who were there scattered, and partly mingled with the Gentiles and others; and then there also appeared there as it were a smokiness.


CONCERNING THE MOHAMMEDS. The first Mohammed 5268-1 dwelt at the left under the plane of the sole; and there he held his court, and inflowed from thence into the Mohammedan people; but, under the guidance of the Lord. There appeared there a certain radiance, such as is emitted by candles. I was sent thither, and I perceived lasciviousness mingled with the conjugial state, which was filthy, for it excited lust. That sphere was loathsome. It was said, that, in place of these [Mohammeds], others now succeed, who, for the reason that the multitude think much about Mohammed, are to be kept there by the Lord, lest their phantasies should be destroyed. That lascivious sphere is from plurality of wives, whom they hold it lawful to marry. It was granted me to lie down in a warmth not at first very unpleasant, which, however, immediately became a disagreeable and exceedingly grievous lascivious heat, from which I greatly desired to get away.


CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF BABEL, AND CONCERNING THE GREAT CITY THERE BETWEEN THE NORTH AND WEST. Between the north and west, behind that Babylonish city whereof I spoke above - page 356 5269-1 - there was a mountain which continued into a country of mountains and plains, farther on, and also on both sides, from the north as far as to the southern quarter there, and from the other side [of the mountain] as far as to the eastern; so that, from the other part of that mountain, and from the sides, there extended a large and wide district.


On the top of that mountain was a little city, and in the midst thereof was a Pope. His palace was exactly like the papal palace on the Monte Cavallo at Rome. But inside of the mountain was a great city, than which there is no larger anywhere. It also extended from the northern quarter as far as to the eastern, into which it penetrated, though slightly; and, from the other side, through the western quarter, as far as to the southern. It was, also, exceedingly broad. There was there a vast multitude of men of various religions; but still the city was of the Catholic religion. There were said to be there as many as several myriads. But beneath that under-city, there was not another city.


That city did exceedingly abound in monasteries of men, amounting to many thousands; so that it was wholly a monastic city, except for a small space in the middle towards the west, and on the side towards the east. The rest of the city was nothing else but monasteries. All the people there were subject to those who were in the monasteries, just like slaves to their masters; and, moreover, if anyone had aught of Divine Blessing, they entered where he was and devoured it till nothing remained. Whatever they could they brought together into their monasteries and hid away; thus living by their wits, without performing any use for the public, and caring for externals and scarcely anything else. They taught nothing, but only displayed an outward sanctity, which was wholly hypocritical and also profane. I also found some acquaintances in that city.


I was conducted thither when a visitation was commencing; and, then, they first carried out a golden image of Mary, which they held most sacred, arrayed as is customary; and next the Pope was led forth to another place towards the north - whither, I know not. It was perceived that in the life in the world, he had been blind [I wonder] whether, perchance, he was saved?


The visitation next entered that great under-city. 5273-1 There was a great opening in front, and a road from thence on both sides, and also forwards. But first, there was an elevation there, and afterwards a descent, for the purpose that that entrance should not be exposed on that side where the former city was. 5273-2


It should first be known, that the dominion of that Pope was over all that wide and ample tract concerning which see above [no. 5269] - which extended widely round about, and where villas and houses were closely packed; so that his power was very widespread.


When the visitation, as was said, entered there, then all who were in the monasteries were brought out until all the monasteries were emptied. A Divine force compelled them, so that nobody could withstand it; but all were brought out through that exit. Those who were first brought forth, were taken to the place towards the front previously mentioned, that had been a valley, under which were many hells which were cast forth, until as it were a smoke appeared. In a word, it was the whole northern region, as far as the mountainous district. At that time, there was a great swamp there; and into this those were cast who were brought out first, of whom there was an immense number. Those who were brought out after these, were taken to that southern mountain chasm - into which the mountain was cleft, as above said [no. 5231] - and were there driven into the depth. Lastly, were brought forth some who appeared altogether hard, who are those that have nothing of good remaining and are in self-love above others. These were cast [into] a gloomy cavern, under that mountain, at the side of that marshy valley. Thus all the monasteries were emptied; and they were afterwards destroyed, so that the city was wholly cleared of monasteries.


After this, inquiry was made in the city as to where the wicked were; and they were all cast forth, in great multitude, and thrown into the same marsh towards the east, and some into the hells of the Gentiles above described. Thus, that city was purified; and the people who were left behind, who also live well and take no pleasure in doing ill, were suffered to remain there.


After this, the visitation reached the top of the mountainous region, but at the back of the city, in the distance there; and all the wicked were brought forth from thence and cast into the hells, and also into the gulfs. 5276-1


CONCERNING THE EASTERN GULF. Afterwards, I was brought to the eastern gulf, and I saw that all things there were appointed and arranged, that every evil one was allotted his place, and that some were placed over them to have charge; and the crew that was not quite so wicked was removed from there and carried away elsewhere.


 5278-1It was told the rest in the city, that they should receive their superintending judges and governors, and also their priests - whom, also, I saw sent thither. The situation of that city was thus:


A [Fig. 3] 5279-1 was the mountain mentioned above [no. 5269], where was the little city where also the Pope was: from this was the exit and entrance [no. 5273] into the great city which was beneath [no. 5270]: GEF was the northerly extension: I, the outreach into the east [ibid.] BD, the city towards the west and even as far as the south [ibid.], which is at C. But EI was the part where there were no monasteries [no. 5271], because the people were of another religion. UZYX was the great tract where were the villas and fields and much people [no. 5273a] over whom the monasteries had dominion.


CONCERNING BABEL, OR GREAT BABYLON, BETWEEN THE WEST AND SOUTH. There was, moreover, a great city extending from the west towards the south - towards the south as far as the chasm there into which the mountain mentioned above [no. 5231] was cleft, and towards the boundary in the angle at the western side. At this point ended that great subterranean city of which we now treat.


And since the situation of that city was between the west 5281-1 and south, extending in both directions, therefore, all those assembled there who excelled others in the light of nature, and were esteemed above others in the world for ingenuity and skill in invention. Especially the abodes of the Jesuits were there.


Their dominion is round about there to a surprising distance. It is a continuous mountain region. It should be observed, however, that that city does not appear on the top of the mountain; but they enter it through a great shaft, and descend from the middle of the mountain, and then into that great city.


Likewise, those who dwell in that great surrounding tract, do not appear above the mountain region, but below it; and they descend through the shaft to their villas and dwellings.


The reason is, that robbers and sorcerers, and a crew that can destroy the inhabitants by magical arts and by phantasies, roam about everywhere. Therefore they let themselves down under the mountain, where also there was light like that above - for the mountain does not obstruct the light.


Those who dwell in that great city, and those who dwell without it under the mountain in that great tract, are, principally, the rich. In like manner in the city, where no one is admitted unless he is rich. The monasteries there are innumerable. The whole city consists of these - except for the rich residents amongst them.


The Jesuits and monks, there, rove everywhere and scrape together riches, and conceal them in a deep place where they have cellars full of gold, silver, and diamonds, and precious stones of various forms. They conceal them all in their cellars beneath the city. There are there vaults within vaults, darkened; the light is not admitted into them; but they enter by the light of candles. There they keep their treasures, of which mention is made in the Apocalypse [chapter 18].


What kind of a city that is, and how their cellars are arranged, may be seen from the diagram on a subsequent page [Fig. 4]. 5287-1


I spoke with the Jesuits who went out and in. They were aware of how it had fared with the cities already mentioned; wherefore, they descended to the cellars, and there they hide their more precious things in crypts there that are still darker, so that they may serve their purposes afterwards; for they believe that they cannot be taken away from these hiding-places. They have the greatest anxiety over their riches.


I spoke with them about their life in the world, and said that they care nothing about heaven, nor even believe in it, but simply mislead rich people so that they may get their riches and possess dominion; and, that, for this reason, they insinuate themselves, by various arts, into all homes. Also, that they keep the multitude in the darkest ignorance, and thus block up the way to heaven; for the way to heaven is blocked up to men when knowledges are hidden away and withdrawn from them. Passage into heaven, moreover, cannot be effected by their means [i.e. that of these Jesuits], because they believe nothing and are inwardly devils. It was said that they continually perform masses there as in the world, and always in a foreign tongue which is not understood of the people; likewise, that they place all worship in such things, so that there exists outward sanctity without any inward.


When they perceived that the Last Judgment was upon them, they then hid away their more precious things - such as the diamonds and precious stones - in the crypts; and the gold they carried out. There were many images of gold.


A [Fig. 4] 5291-1 is the mountainous surrounding [no. 5283, 5285], where the rich dwell beneath, or inside, in those places; BCD is the mountain under which is the great city; CE is the shaft [no. 5282] whereby they descend; FG is the great city - G the western quarter, F the eastern quarter; and HI, the shaft leading into the cellars where they keep their riches. The chambers there are rendered dark by winding corridors, KSM at length bent alternately, or reciprocally, at NH, where they keep their most precious things. They descend into that city by the shaft, and ascend by circular steps, or in continuous spiral ways, and also by slanting steps - wide ones, because there is always a multitude going out and in.


I saw them carrying out their gold, wishing to hide it with the others who dwell beneath the mountainous part. Some received it; some sent it back, saying that they have no dealings in such things. All the rich are admitted, from whatsoever region they may be, and they dwell round about under the mountainous part there; and also some rich Jews - for they think of nothing else but riches and dominion: some, of dominion on account of riches; some, of riches for dominion's sake; and some of both.


They also made themselves a communication with the hells under the earth belonging to the southern part, at the middle there; and they resorted to these hells, in order to defend themselves by means of magic and various execrable arts, and to destroy others, and also to coerce those who were not willing to submit themselves, and who were not willing to give them their riches. In the hells in that place, the more expert a devil is in execrable arts, the more welcome he is.


They placed in their inner cells, dust of the ground, which they solemnly believe to be gold, 5294-1 and then, immediately, the ground there, under the treasures, began to bubble up, and thus [the cells] to be overthrown. This happened where their more precious things were; and, next, an earthquake followed, and many were cast in from the neighboring hells. Hence there fell upon them a panic; and all they who were there rushed out of all the monasteries, and betook themselves through the shafts to the level of the mountain, where there then appeared a vast multitude of Jesuits and monks, skilful, when in the world, in learning, arts, and intrigues. Those who were in the palaces there, who were standing at the windows, kept quiet till after the monasteries had been deserted; but, being at length affrighted by the earthquake, they also burst out.


Some, also, who were wholly devoted to wealth, let themselves down, from their heart's desire, to their treasures, and resolved to die there, saying, that, if their treasures are destroyed, it is all over with them also. These, at the last, however, were cast out, all of them carrying their golden images along with them; but they were compelled to cast them away.


Then, the mountain-top began to be borne away, and the whole city was presented to sight, along with the magnificent monasteries, their temples, and the remaining palaces - all which were beheld; and an eruption burst forth from the lower place where the treasures were. Then the east wind, or a wind from the east, came, and carried away the whole city and dispersed it in smoke, and carried it away into the western sea; and all the treasures were utterly destroyed, and likewise cast forth into that sea; for, at the west, there is a great sea [K, Fig. 5]. 5296-1


Afterwards, also, the hells intermediate between the center and that city were likewise utterly cast forth, and those who were there cast into the hells of the Gentiles (of which above [no. 5264]), which are on the west, at both sides of the Mohammedan heaven.


This lasted for some time; and it seemed, at first, as if a deluge was let loose over the whole region there; and, at length, it appeared to be divided by a certain precipice which lay between the hells and the district over which that city ruled.


At length, also, the district under the rule of that city, where the rich dwelt under the mountain, was cast out; and they who were there burst forth, some hither, some thither.


When this had been accomplished, the whole of that Jesuitical and monkish crew was brought to the western sea, to the shore there that faces the south. They stood on the shore in a long row, and were cast into that sea. Their position in the long row on the shore was according to their natural lumen and the wickedness plotted from it.


5253-1 See No. 5231.

5256-1 See No. 5249.

5256-2 See No. 5231.

5268-1 See Nos. 5260a and 5261.

5269-1 No. 5249

5273-1 See No. 5270.

5273-2 i.e. the little city on the top of the mountain. - See no. 5270, beginning.

5276-1 These asterisks at the end of 5276 and at the beginning of 5278, which occur in the Latin, would seem to signify that the description in 5278 and 5279 follows immediately upon, on that in 5276. We have, therefore, so placed it, though preserving the original numbering. - ED.

5278-1 These asterisks at the end of 5276 and at the beginning of 5278, which occur in the Latin, would seem to signify that the description in 5278 and 5279 follows immediately upon, on that in 5276. We have, therefore, so placed it, though preserving the original numbering. - ED.

5279-1 On the next page in the printed text is a diagram of a city to which the letters of location refer.

5281-1 The Latin edition has "east" (orietem); but, in deference to what seem to be the requirements of the context, we have substituted "west" in the text, supposing that orientem, is a misreading of the Latin Editor's for occidentem. -ED.

5287-1 The diagram is of a city at the foot of a mountain, with what appear to be tunnels going down from the top of the mountain and from the center of the city, leading into caverns beneath.

5291-1 The diagram is of a city at the foot of a mountain, with what appear to be tunnels going down from the top of the mountain and from the center of the city, leading into caverns beneath.

5294-1 Dr. Immanuel Tafel, the Latin Editor, reads verum (truth), instead of, as the context unmistakably demands, aurum (gold). -ED.

5296-1 A diagram of two cities with a mountain between and towards back in reference to them.

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