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

Spiritual Diary


These degrees are altogether distinct for each other; but I doubt whether the learned of the world can take this in, for the reason that, for the most part, they have the idea, about externals and internals with man, of continuity from gross to subtle, without any other distinction.


Man, or the human race, is the ultimate, and what heaven closes in; for the reason that man has heaven in himself and corresponds to it. His sensual which stands forth in the world, is the ultimate itself, and therefore, also, the foundation upon which heaven rests, like a house upon its foundation - for there is a connection of all things, from firsts to lasts: also, man's sensual is comparatively fixed. What sort of fixity it is, can only be known by this, that all things which are on earth, are also in the heavens, but there they are not fixed; still however, there is the appearance as of fixity. Many things may be enumerated, as houses, fields, gardens, carriages, animals. It is hence plain, that, when man lives in the world, he acquires to himself a plane of fixity, and that this, therefore, cannot be changed; whence it is that man remains to eternity of the quality he has been in the world. He has this plane with him, but it is entirely passive. Still, his interiors close in it. Except he has this correspondence with internals in him, it cannot be well with him. It is well with him, also, to the extent to which this correspondence prevails. But he must have his interiors good: if the interiors are evil then he comes into hell.


In order, therefore, that the Divine might rule all things, both in the heavens and on the earths, from Itself; which happens through all things, through firsts and at the same time through lasts - to this end, the Lord came into the world and put on the human, and rose with the human even to the ultimates, as also He taught the disciples; for thus He was able in the world to subjugate the hells, and, so, afterwards, to rule the heavens and earths, and no otherwise; for, at that time, man had entirely withdrawn from the heavens into [his] ultimates; so that, then, the foundation began to perish.


THE SPEECH OF THE CELESTIAL ANGELS. In order that I might understand the speech of these, one example was granted me. I perceived that a certain woman loved her husband, but was restrained by others, through speech, [from doing so openly]; sometimes, persuasive [speech] which merely aimed at fettering the affections of others - which occurs by restraining [them], by insinuating other affections, by hindering communication, by substituting others who inflowed more powerfully into the exteriors. When those were removed, she openly loved her husband very demonstratively; kissing and embracing him. Then I said that the case here was like that of a bow-string, or spring, which, though held back, still strives to re-bound: this is called its conatus [or effort]. The essential of a spring is in the effort; nor does it know anything of act, before the fastenings are brought together. In man, it is called will; for will is living effort - for all things in the living subject are named differently and exist under a different guise, while yet it is the same: only into organic, or substantial forms, life inflows. That which any man wills, he is in the effort of; and, when obstacles are removed, it becomes act. This, which is in the human will, is his love; for the will itself is his love. Hence, so far as anyone's love is held back, which happens through various causes which are called impossibilities, and also through other loves, outward and intermediate, so far it does not act. Thus it is in all things and every single thing of nature - in the universe, as regards the atmospheres; in the vegetable kingdom, as regards all and everyone of the things therein; in the animal kingdom as regards all and everyone of the things in it; in man, as to all and everyone of the things in him. Hence are equilibrium, efficient causes from ends, and effects from causes. Inwardly in the supreme sense [of the Word], is the Lord's love of saving the human race, and of giving them wisdom and happiness: the obstacles are with man and his loves.


These things were expressed through words and ideas, and observed by spiritual and celestial angels. The spiritual understood these well, and with delight, because they are intelligences; but the celestials did not do so before something from a spiritual idea came into their idea - which is interior, and yet founded upon the spiritual idea. It is more general - thinking obscurely of such influx and consequent action, or of such state and consequent act. They thought, as it were, only in a general way of such state of all in the complex; and then the gestures of the body and of the face acted in like manner; and they showed this through the motions of all parts of the body, and also by the expressions and flashings of the eyes.


THAT ANGELS HAVE THE HUMAN FORM. Everything of the life of man, conspires, from the Lord, to the human form, the least and greatest of it. Everything of truth and of good, belonging to the understanding from its will, which is from the Lord, strives after the human form; for the reason that the Lord is Man, and heaven in its complex is a man. Hence is the human form with man; hence, also, with a spirit; hence, also, with an angel. When man lays down his body he has the human form; and when a spirit is laid to sleep as to the exteriors which are in the human form, he is under the human form still more perfectly. The soul is a man. If you say that the soul is the very life which inflows from the Divine, that is in the human form; for, whatsoever is from the Divine, thus from the Lord, is human in form. Love, or the good of love, is the very esse of that form; and truth thence, when it becomes good, is the very existere from that esse. That many learned men doubt about the resurrection, and have a notion about a resurrection of the body, is because they have thought about the soul from theories, and have had about it only the idea of wind: and some, differently, as of air, of fire, of flame. Hence that learning has blinded them, and confounded and annihilated the interior perception about man's life after death. The simple are different, unless they think similarly about the soul. Wherefore, in Christendom, when they think about the soul after death, they are not able to have an idea of the human form; when, nevertheless, that idea remains with all who have not annihilated the interior perception concerning the life after death by such [notions]: for example, those who are outside the learned world, all Mohammedans, and the wise heathen. That such idea, amongst the learned in the Christian world, is from that source, was shown by their ideas being examined and discovered to be such; and there was not only doubt in them, but also negation from them. In that obscurity [of their minds] were such things as suffocated all heavenly light about the life after death. The ideas of the simple were also examined; and it was found that they entirely agree [with those] of a spirit concerning himself. Everyone's faith is according to his ideas. Those of them, who have thought about the life after death from the impossibility that the universal heaven along with the stars, sun and earth, should perish, and that [then] man's body, [consumed] by worms, mice, fishes, and divided and scattered to every quarter of the globe [should undergo resurrection], have denied the resurrection; which denial being once made, is afterwards buttressed by various arguments. Because man in the Christian world is such, it has been permitted him to believe that the body would undergo resurrection at a certain last judgment: otherwise, all who thought from their intellectual would have rejected the doctrine about the resurrection; which being rejected, everything of the Church and of heaven with man perishes.


ABOUT THE SPEECH OF SPIRITS AND OF ANGELS. The speech of the celestial and the spiritual angels differs greatly: also the speech of angels and spirits; which difference may be manifest from the very nature of their speech, in that they express [themselves] from ideas, in natural sound, which sound is, as it were, their love. When, therefore, [they speak] from their ideas, they speak such things from themselves. It proceeds from their whole [being], as if not only from the thought but also from the whole body. For the whole spirit is his love. Hence is their speech.


Hence is manifest of what nature is the speech of the angels who are in celestial love, that it is most delightful and lovely; for they speak from their love. Such, also, is the speech of the wise angels, that it is filled with ideas of wisdom which do not fall into the ideas of angels not so wise. Also, [it is manifest] of what sort is the idea of the simple, unless they be in the company of the wise.


Hence is manifest of what nature is the speech of those who are in hell, namely, that, by reason of their foul ideas, it is foul; and that it cannot have conjunction with the speech of the angels; for such ideas as are in hell do not fall into angelic ideas, because they are destructive [thereof]: moreover, that the speech varies there according to the genera and species of the loves; for everyone's love is what thinks and speaks, because the whole spirit, as to interiors and exteriors, is, as it were, his love. The exteriors are their ultimate forms. Hence is manifest what the differences are. The differences are of such a nature that the infernals can scarcely at all understand angelic speech, which, although from ideas in like manner, yet is from such ideas as are opposite to their ideas. But angels can understand the infernals. By this means, also, heaven is separated from the hells.


ABOUT THOSE WHO RELATE TO THE NAILS - HELL. Those who relate to the nails and toes of the feet, are the most wicked of all They care least, and scarcely anything, for those things which belong to heaven and the Church. Their wickedness exceeds the wickedness of all others. At length, however, they become the most stupid of all. Such is Cartouche. 5560-1


ABOUT BOOKS AND THE WORD, IN HEAVEN. They have the Word there, and also books. In the spiritual heaven the writing is like writings in the world, with Roman letters; but they are not at all intelligible to those who are in the natural world, for they are in an entirely different language, which is a universal one. They who read it, comprehend it instantly. The words in it are according to their natural ideas. They were many times seen by me; but, when I was in a natural state, though I was able to read I could not understand. I saw books: the letters were before my eyes: I read them; and this on many occasions. They have the Word, likewise; some, according to its internal sense; some, according to the external sense, but yet a more spiritual one [than with us].


In the celestial heaven, however, they have no such writing, but the letters are different, almost like the Hebrew; and there they see in the separate syllables, little horns and apices, the many things which they signify; for there is with them a different speech. This was witnessed by me; and there was an angel with me at the time who explained. Hence, what we read in the Word as regards every little horn and every apex. 5562-1


They also write letters, and send to others, and also to other places; as, likewise, I have seen.


ABOUT SPEECH AND WISDOM IN HEAVEN. Spiritual speech is universal, from ideas; but its sound, or its articulation, flows from the very affection itself which is natural to one; so that the affection expresses itself by the sound, that is, the articulation, with them; like as every affection has natural gestures along with it. Consequently, the sound of the speech, or their words, flow from the entire spirit. The ideas are of the affection; and these, also, are similarly formed in the spiritual [region] of the spirit's body. But what spirits speak amongst themselves, cannot, as respects the greatest part, be expressed in natural language or speech; for it does not fall into the words, neither into the sensual ideas, of the thought which is with man in the body. In the body are the generals of things.


The case is similar with celestial speech in relation to spiritual speech. In celestial speech is such wisdom as cannot be expressed in spiritual speech, nor even grasped in idea; as, also, was proved by a certain one who had doubts about it. He was let into the company of celestials, and then he perceived those things which they spoke; but, when he went by to his fellows, who were spiritual, he was not able to express anything, not even by ideas of thought. He said that the things spoken were most replete with wisdom. He was the London Specatator. 5565-1 It was also proved that spiritual speech does not fall into the natural speech which is with man.


All angels, both celestial and spiritual, are perfected, as regards wisdom, to eternity; but, still, they cannot be perfected to any such degree that there is any proportion between their wisdom and the Divine wisdom of the Lord, because the Divine wisdom of the Lord is infinite; and there exists no proportion between infinite and finite.


That everyone of the ideas of thought flows from the affections which belong to the love, as light from flame, so that it can be said that the understanding is the production of light from the affection of the will as flame, in every single respect - this was perceived, in heaven, to be so. [It was perceived], too, that it originates from the Lord as the sun, who is Love, and from the light thence issuing, which is their Divine; also, from the fact that the Lord dwells in every single thing of theirs; likewise, in the circumstance that it, [namely, thought,] is relatively general.


ABOUT THE ABOMINABLE BABYLONISH CREW. Those of the Babylonish crew who have displayed holiness in external matters, and thereby persuaded the vulgar that they were holier than the rest of men, and nevertheless have inwardly in themselves believed that they possess heaven and thus have a right over the souls of men, and have also persuaded the vulgar of this, and thereby ensnared their souls and deprived them of their possessions; - those of them who have believed nothing, and have done such things from deceit - these, in the other life, devise abominable arts and achieve the like things in a different way. They are behind, in the western quarter, upon a certain not very high mountain; and another kind of them upon a mountain nearer to the north.


The former ones, who are at the western quarter almost in the midst, in another place verging also towards the north, these come clandestinely to the hinder parts of men and spirits, either themselves, or through thoughts, or by messengers: and there are in the persuasion that Christ was there present. Those who try to do this, are able to feign, and to induce a persuasion just as if the Lord was there, from [having] such a faith in the world. Then, all who have influx into the hinder parts of spirits turn away, and thus lead them whithersoever they wish, just as if the Lord were leading. They who come to the hinder parts of man, beneath the back-head, rule the man's thoughts. If any simple-upright spirits approach, they attract them to their side immediately; for persuasion so acts; and if they are detected as being spirits, they say that they have been sent by the Lord, or that He inflows through them, inasmuch as the Lord is thus omnipresent. Those simple-upright spirits having been entrapped, do to the man and spirit whatsoever the others wish. These are, for the most part, present when man is in temptations, when in misfortunes, in states of despair, and when the mind wavers about the Lord and His Providence and sticks fast in doubt. They then lead man to wicked thoughts. And if a spirit does not give himself, and whatever he has, entirely to them, they plunge his thoughts into hell, which happens through denial of the Divine. They act chiefly against the more innocent. They are inwardly in the love of self beyond all others, and are interior devils. Such have frequently been with me and in concealment, so that I was wholly unaware of the fact, save for the change of state as to the disposition. At length they were exposed, and then seen. I spoke with them also; and it was proved that they were most inveterate enemies against the Lord, and persecute all those who worship the Lord if they do not give them all they have, as to their souls, and as to their possessions. To them, the worship of the Lord is for a means to such abominations. I saw that that crew, which was very numerous, was cast down into a hell in front of their mountain, where the sulfur within, and the infernal fire within, is fearfully increased. Now, also, as soon as they come there - for there is their assembly - they are cast down into that hell


The other sort, which dwells nearer to the north in the western quarters, possess interior cunning, and are more cunning [than the former]; they do all things, however, so that the spirit and man may be unaware. They speak sincerely, and piously too; but they do not so much display sanctity as sincerity, - inwardly, however, they are like the others. These, through their arts, seek to approach to man and spirit, not so much at the hinder part and sway the thoughts there, but they go about the left ear and occupy that province, which takes place by various and secret methods and arts, all of which I am not able to describe. Thus, they turn away therefrom all the influx out of heaven; for heaven inflows from every direction; and when they have possession of that province, then they possess the spirit and the man, for the whole power of apperception comes through that way; and thither enters the whole of that which affords the man delight from his ruling love - in a word, the entire delight of the interior thought. The influx of heaven has its axis around the ear; so that the axis of influx is there, for the reason that the ear receives such things, and those which enter there come to a man's perception. When they have occupied that province, then they immediately perceive a spirit's thoughts and affections - not before - and, then, in various ways, the spirit being unaware, they introduce many things which belong to the love, and which are contrary to the love, and seek out what it is, which, when he does it, brings him into sadness, or into joy, or occasions him delight, or unpleasantness; and, when they discover this, they insinuate such things as drive him to desperation, either about his salvation, or about Providence, or about the Divine, or something else, until, at length, the spirit is so that he is scarcely in his right mind. And so they possess him; and either thrust him out of his possession so that he flees to another [place], and thus strip him of all things that belong to him; or else attach him to themselves and have him among them as a slave, so that he may surrender to them all he has. After this, also, they search for the influx: out of heaven to that part, from all sides, and even as far as to the loins on both sides; and, when the influx is known to them, they then possess the whole of him and subject him to themselves, a vile slave. Some doubted of such wickedness, and it was permitted those [wretches] to operate into them; and, at length, they confessed that the others were able, if they wished, to thrust them down into hell of their own accord: for they induce such a state. In a word, it is a nefarious crew.


When man is in inward joy, or in inward sadness and melancholy, it comes from nowhere else than from the influx of spirits who talk and speak contrary to his loves, or in agreement with his loves. This was shown me many times; and this, also, many of the most wicked in the other life know. They spoke to each other, and it was not heard; but, through delightfulness and disagreeableness, it was perceived.


ABOUT NUMBERS IN HEAVEN. Sometimes numbers appear, a paper filled with them; they also appear on the walls - which signify such things as the celestials think; but scarcely anyone is able to know them except those who belong to such [i.e. celestial] heaven. When the numbers are simple - as, for example, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc., to 12 - then they have a significance according to those things which are described in the Arcana Coelestia; but when they are compound, they have another sense: for example, 90356/358. These signify, God be with thee; and every single number something: the sense named, however, is according to those things which are above [referred to]. [Take] 358, here. These numbers, which are here and there, determine the sense into such a series. They who are of that [i.e. celestial] kingdom, understand immediately; and this without instruction, as if of themselves. Every single idea has its own number. In general, even numbers correspond to good, as 2, 4, 8, and odd numbers - as 3, 9 - to truth.


ABOUT THE GENII AND THEIR HELLS. The genii dwell deep down at the back, and there spread themselves widely under the hells of spirits, from whom they are distinguished and separated, by, as it were, a hard rock, which can never be penetrated, because there is no communication except through intermediates, - just as between the celestial and the spiritual. They also correspond to the celestials, and are ruled and kept in subjection by the Lord, through them.


A certain one belonging to the genii, was known to me in the world (Lag: Frolick). 5573-1 He was long among the spirits; and he was able to lead all whomsoever he wished, namely, through thoughts, and also to lead them away at his pleasure. They did not know that he was of the genii. They said, also, that they were altogether unable to resist him; but that he could compel them to think whatsoever he would; as, also, he himself admitted. He came to me, likewise, and did in like manner with my thoughts, so that he was able to lead the minutest things there; and also introduced himself, by the hand, into the province of the breast. It was there, also, discovered that he was one of the genii, and among spirits with whom I was acquainted in the world. Many spirits adhered to him, even up to several hundreds. They said that he was able to take up their thoughts; others not so. They were evil and mostly naturalistic; and, inwardly in himself, he was also.


From the life of these ones in the world, it was permitted me to know of what quality they are in the world who become genii, that, namely, they remain firm in their own thoughts, partly owing to solitary life in themselves - that is, from the delight thereof; from sad lots then intermingled; and from continuous thought about them at the time. Hence they were able to be in one thought a long time, and to be kept [in it]; and not to fluctuate, like those who are in joy, and in variety, and with whom there is no sadness. It was chiefly through this that they were able to remain long steadfast in thinking about one matter. Such was that one. They at length become such that they say what they think, however another speaks; nor does [such a one] fall into doubts through any considerations, but holds himself continually in his own idea of a matter about which others are speaking, and abandons nothing thereof; not attending to the reasons of others any otherwise than [to say] that it is not so, and that their reasons are worthless; so that he does not rely upon others in any matter whatsoever. He makes nothing of authority, or the reputation of learning in spiritual and rational things. Thus he is in continuous thinking against any other who speaks differently from himself. They who are such become genii, and lead any who are of the spiritual [genius] by their thought; for the spiritual are bent hither and thither according to various things: the rational, according, to reasons; the non-rational, according to the accepted opinion about the sincerity, doctrine, and learning of another. Such ones become genii, and rule others, in the other life, constantly, by means of their closely consecutive thoughts; and especially through the affections belonging to the others - which are the interiors of the thought. For these are in self-love beyond others, and are affected by their own thoughts, and love them. Hence the affections which are of love, [belonging to others,] by means of which the thoughts of all are ruled, follow [them] instantly.


Those of them, also, who reason, are intermediates. The celestial angels, in general, correspond to the heart and pulse of the Grand Man, and also to the flesh, even to the tendons, sinews, and bones therein; but the spiritual to the lungs and respiration, also to the various fibers and the blood, and to the animal spirit.


The genii, however, are, on the contrary, opposite to the flesh and heart; thus, the bulk of them become as it were bones, or as it were ossifying, cartilaginifying flesh; for they are so entirely opposed to good, in greatest and least things, that there is no soundness in them: they are opposite to the truly human voluntary faculty. In their hells, they at first appear like scarcely visible flying things. They flee from one another, because one is not able to bear the sphere of another's thoughts; for there is perpetual collision. Hence, they make themselves invisible. He who does not think similarly to another in the other life, is invisible to the other.


Few of the English become genii, because they rely on the authority of others, with self-thought at the time, and on the reasonings and reasons of others, according to their apprehension and consequent reception thereof. Hence, also, they are yielding. If only they believe that a man is learned and sincere, and of their own nation, then, their thought is clear and interior. Many of the Dutch, however, become genii, because they from their own [thought] think contrary to others, and do not disclose the fact. Their thought, in the spiritual world, appears lower and more obscure. Many of the English also embraced the heavenly doctrine in the other life, and thence came into the New Jerusalem, because they are such that they embrace the truths of faith when they see them; and they see [them] in a certain interior light, and so remain in it [i.e. the heavenly doctrine]. This the English do quickly, but the Dutch slowly; for they who covet heaven see slowly and take up immediate [truths]; and when they grasp the fact that a life according to the precepts of that doctrine leads to heaven, they at length acknowledge them. They walk according to the form of heaven; and what they then know that is higher, this also they practice, according to interior representatives. Thoughts are according to the form of heaven; and - what man is unaware of - rational [ideas] which are truly analytical, are of truth from good.


ABOUT THE WRITINGS OF THE CELESTIAL ANGELS. There was shown me a sheet of paper on which something was written in Hebrew characters; and there was a certain spirit with me who said what every detail there signified: not what the sense of the letter was, nor that the interior or spiritual sense, but what the inmost sense, which is the celestial. He did not see this from the words, but from the syllables and their inflections and curvatures; or, as is said, from the apices and little horns. 5578-1 It was hence manifest what every jot, apex and little horn, of which we read in the Word, signifies.


Moreover, it was told me out of heaven that their writing there, in the celestial kingdom, was wholly different from the writing in the spiritual kingdom. In the spiritual kingdom, it occurs through words written in a like diction to that which is written in the world, but their words there belong to their natural 5579-1 or universal language, in which all spirits and angels are versed. I often saw such words in the Roman characters; but, when I was in the natural 5579-2 sphere I understood nothing at all of it. There were the words, but they were not understood; but they are understood by any spirit you please, whoever he may be. It was according to their natural language which before. But the writing of the celestials is entirely different. It consists of various inflections in various forms; and every curvature and inflection signifies something. And thus they express, in one such form, more things than can be expressed by very, very many words in the spiritual tongue; while, yet, it is only some exterior things [that they express]. Thus, celestial angels know perfectly how to write and read; and this without any previous instruction.


I was told, also, that they saw the spiritual writing, and indeed understood it according to its spiritual meaning; but, yet, [they understood,] at the same time, other things from the inflections of the syllables alone, which the spiritual angels wondered at and which they did not understand. A certain syllable was shown me; there were only curvatures, in various forms, almost as with certain Orientals.


It was also said, that the ancients, when writing first began, wrote thus, namely, those who preceded the Hebrews, before the Hebrew language existed; but that the Hebrew language indeed somewhat approached it, though it still deviated from it, inasmuch as in it there are sharp terminations in the syllables, which there are not in the celestial language. Still, however, in it, and in every single one of its words which are in the Word, celestial things are in the very syllables themselves; which things are understood by the intermediate angels. Therefore, also, [such celestial things] are inmostly therein.


In other writings, however, no such thing exists, save in those [things] which are from the Divine, thus in the Words. In ordinary spiritual writing which is not from the Divine, something, indeed, lies concealed, but it is not according to correspondence.


Whence such writing is, was also perceived, that, namely, it is according to the form of heaven, which is of such a nature; about which many things can be said, but not now. - Celestial angels know perfectly what corresponds, as, in what way good proceeds to this or that quarter; and this from ingrafted knowledge, because they are led by the form of heaven. Hence is their writing, and many other things; so that they know what is true without teaching (Jer. 31:33, 34). It is permitted me to relate a certain marvel about a like matter. When angels see any spirit walking below them, then they instantly perceive, from the path in which he is walking, and the bendings of the path hither and thither, of what quality he is, and what he is thinking; whether he is going according to that form in which his thought is: also, from the form they draw their conclusion. Thence it might be manifest to me that the inflections of the writings are according to the form of heaven. To walk according to the heavenly form, and to write according to the heavenly writing, nobody can learn by art. If anyone should learn something of it by art, he would immediately withdraw from heaven, and also would be instantly detected; especially one who is walking; and this, from the set of his face, even when his feet go differently.


What all numbers signify, therefore, comes also from the celestial kingdom; but it is from a loftier origin than can be described in a few words. Hence [is the signification] of the numbers in the Word; as, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, to 12, and so forth. I saw writings of numbers alone sent thence; but the numbers are there differently written: they fall in the natural sphere [according to the methods of calculation].


ABOUT THE SPEECH OF SPIRITS. ((((The speech of spirits is natural. 5585-1 It is from their interior memory, the ideas from which become words, but such as comport with the matters themselves; which, also, are the beginnings of natural 5585-2 words. Such ideas are with man, although he is unaware of it; and in the other life he speaks from them. It is, therefore, a universal tongue; for everyone is able to speak it with another, nor needs to be previously instructed. That speech is heard as sonorously as speech in the world only, however, by a spirit; not by a man. When spirits speak with a man, that speech falls into the words of the man's language, like his interior ideas into the speech of his words. When a spirit turns himself to such a man, then the spiritual speech perishes, and he does not know any other speech but the man's: 5585-3 he is even unaware that any other speech exists. Some, also, speak from ideas; but this now rarely, for, then, the quality of his truth and good is perceived; but, if there are with anyone genuine truths in connection, he is able to speak from ideas readily; and the more instructed anyone is, the better [the speech]; but he must beware of that speech: it is interior. I have frequently spoken in such speech, by means of ideas, with spirits and angels.


A certain spirit turned himself to me and spoke in my language, but when to a spirit, he spoke in the spiritual tongue. He also observed the distinction; that, namely, the speech of angelic spirits is sweet, and differs from the ideas of others, because their interior ideas are filled with truths from good. Evil spirits do not understand the speech of these, when they speak from their ideas as well as [from the interior memory]. The speech of the evil is foul, and good spirits do not like to hear it. The speech of the celestial is external; for they do not talk about anything else than those things which they see, and not those which they bear.)))) (((These things were written when a spirit was present who had no ideas, but only spoke from the interior memory apart from ideas. Therefore, I was not able to describe it from thought. By means of so acting he prevented me.)))


ABOUT THE SPEECH OF THE CELESTIAL AND OF THE SPIRITUAL. The celestial do not speak anything from their interior, because this does not fall into words. All truths are inscribed in their interior according to the order of heaven, so that an image of heaven is in them; and because they are thus in the truths themselves they never talk about them, and consequently not about such things as belong to reason, or rational things, neither about morals, or civil matters as regards justice and equity - since they see them all from the truths in which they are. That they talk nothing at all about them was granted me to prove; for such a celestial one is with me. I was also informed out of heaven that such things as are rationals and they hear, they never utter, neither are able to utter, because they have not a memory for those, other than that they know and perceive them when others speak of them; and, then, they say, or think, Yea, yea, or, Nay, nay. They said, moreover, that whatever from such things enters by means of hearing, they do not utter, but yet still they perceive. What, however, they see before their eyes, this they know, and this they utter as readily as others; for these are such visible worldly and exterior objects as pertain to their body, or their human. I was let into the like state, so that I might know how the case is. But things must be seen by them, not so much heard. The things which enter through hearing into the perception, enter into the interior man, thus into the voluntary or into the affection; but those which enter through the sight, enter only into the exterior man, and into the external intellectual. Hence it might be evident to me, that their memory is of such a quality as that of spirits, which is exterior; from which, also, they can speak, but it is not interior. They, therefore, do not speak with ideas. Moreover, they speak by various gestures and by their movements, in doing, going and sitting.


As regards the speech of spirits, it is from the ideas of the speech-thought; which ideas are distinct from the words which are with man; for, when a man speaks, he thinks only the sense of the thing about which he is speaking; and that sense is what falls into the words. That thought which is the speaking, or exterior thought, separated into ideas, constitutes the speech of spirits; and it is from the interior natural memory. For the internals which the spiritual have are closed: wherefore, they speak about truths and goods.


This memory is pictorial, formed from the visible objects in the world; and when it becomes active through the influx of light out of heaven, it constitutes that speech - which, because it is from the light of heaven, renders the ideas thereof conformable to the nature of the things in the universe. Every single thing has its conformity from the influx of heaven. Those heavenly-fashioned ideas, fall, among spirits, into words, which, also, are distinctly spoken out, and distinctly and sonorously heard amongst themselves, like all speeches on the earths amongst men. Hence it is that the speech of spirits is a natural 5589-1 speech, and also the universal of all, whereby spirits from every nation of the earth, and from every globe, are able to converse together; and this as readily with the most ancient people as with the moderns. Into this speech, every man spontaneously comes immediately after death; and when he then speaks, he is unaware that he has ever spoken differently. Hence, also, it is manifest, that the common speech of spirits is in every man whatsoever, and would become of the same character [as it is with spirits] if one man should enter into the thought or another with his own thought; and, also, that thus he can bring forth, in one moment, more things than, by words, during half-an-hour. From these things it was also manifest, that that speech is one of words, but entirely different words, formed according to the notion of the thing, and articulated by means of sound, so that the sound is articulated, expressing all the things belonging to the matter. It differs from the speech of brutes in this way: that that is continuous, but that of spirits discrete, because there is with them the thought of the thing itself out of heaven and from the Divine truth there, - which, there, is light. Hence, with men, [speech] is discrete and articulate, because they are intellectual: with beasts it is continuous. 5589-2


But how much the words of the language of spirits differ from the words of the language of men in this world, could also be plain to me from various considerations. It can be expressed in the world by sound, even distinctly and articulately; but nobody there can understand it, because it is the spiritual of speech but not the natural - in which latter man is. Speech also differs from the interior thought of man and of spirit; for it is exterior, and care is taken lest [that] thought should enter it; for thus would be manifested of what sort the spirit was. Therefore, those in the other life who are rational, or who speak from reason, and those who speak only from the memory of a thing without its thought, speak alike; and those there are also able, as much as in the world, to pretend that they are learned, although they speak solely from the memory. 5589a-1


Thus also preachers speak, each one from his doctrine without interior ideas at the same time. They only let themselves into the exterior affections, or into a holy external state, in which their speech is just as in the world. The hearers hear only the speech in such affection, and are affected from that apart from interior affection.


In a word, their speech is every bit as natural 5589c-1 as hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell are natural. Such natural [speech] man in the world possesses, just as much as spirits do; but it is only manifested in the other life. There are many reasons why it is not manifested in the world - of which, elsewhere.


The speech of spirits with man falls into the man's words; and, then, a spirit is in the like speech with the man, of whatsoever nation he may be: it also [falls] into the foreign languages which are with the man. Such spirit is, at the time, unaware that there is any other speech, or that he is a spiritual [being] among spirits. Similar is the influx of the speech of spirits into man as [the speech] of the man in himself. He is a man-spirit; and his speech inflows from his spirit into the natural 5590-1 speech of man; and man is then unaware of the quality of [his] spirit, or that there is in him another speech than the language of earth. And when he is neither speaking, nor thinking that [his] speech belongs to [his] words, he is unaware of the fact: in like manner the spirits who are with a man. The case is precisely similar. Make the comparison.


Through the common speech of spirits all are able to be and converse together, both the celestials with the spirituals, and the spirituals with spirits of whatever kind, - all, of whatsoever religion they are: likewise, angels with infernals. The only difference is, that everyone speaks according to his own opinion of mind. Thus, they are able to reason and to dispute. Neither does thought manifest itself otherwise than through a speech of words, as in the world. But angels cannot bear infernals speaking, on account of the falsities and foulnesses which they speak; and infernals cannot bear angels speaking, on account of the truths and good affections [they utter].


There exists, besides, a speech through accompanying ideas, and also without accompanying ideas. I have spoken with angels and spirits through speech accompanied by ideas, and also not accompanied by ideas. The speech through accompanying ideas is also sonorous, and exists at the same time along with words such as pertain to men in the world, and at the same time, also, along with words such as pertain to spirits and angels. And it is sonorous. But speech through ideas alone, without words, is likewise twofold; [but] both kinds are tacit, not sonorous: the one is of thought, the other of affection


When intellectual ideas of thought are present, then appear all things whatsoever that a man, or spirit, has known about the same matter; but, in the midst, and thus in the light, is the matter which is then the subject; and the rest are round about at a distance, in shade. If the obscure things which were at a distance, are in the middle, or in the light, then the rest are at the circumference in the distance, like objects of sight when the sight is forcibly determined, strained to a certain object. The case is quite similar. It must be known, that, when a man, or spirit, speaks, all things whatsoever that he has known about the same matter are then exhibited present, in order, according to the form of heaven - in which he is if good; for the connection is similar. Wherefore, such speech diffuses itself widely, if the man, or spirit, has known much, and the things [he has known] are truths from good. Then it is towards heaven and in heaven. 5592b. But, if they are not truths and goods, then, the speech diffuses itself towards hell, and its form is different: thus, if in falses from evil, he is in the opposites. But speech from affections without intellectual ideas, is still fuller. The affection is presented with its variety, and the angels, especially the celestial, apprehend all things distinctly, according to the truths from good inscribed in them. Such speech is obscure to man, and also to spiritual [angels]. With such speech also I have often spoken; and the angels readily understood. It differs, likewise, according to the quality of the affection [resulting] from the truths. Those who are in genuine truths are able thus to speak in the celestial manner; and, then, internal holiness, which is holiness itself out of heaven, is called forth, but not external holiness without that internal. There is more of the human [element] in external holiness; but in internal, more of the Divine holiness.


One spirit is not able to hold conversation with another by means of that speech from ideas and affections, if they are not in like truths and in like affections from truths. For collision immediately occurs, and, indeed, of such a nature that the one must needs be carried away by the other, according to the ideas and their affections. Those who are of differing religion cannot [converse together] at all; neither angels with infernals at all. Such speech is most beautiful in heaven, because it proceeds from the whole angel and from all and every single one of those things which constitute him; because an angel is his own truth and his own good: thus, the speech is of such a form as belongs to angels. They make one. There, is the speech of love and charity. In hell, is the speech of hatred and spite, or the delight of adultery; and this is altogether external without anything internal. Few are in this speech, because there is contrariety: also for the reason that few in the world have thought rationally and spiritually, from truths and goods themselves.


I have frequently spoken with angels by means of that tacit speech of ideas, and also with others; and, then, I was able to express even material things without words, by only thinking about them - whether they are facts, or persons, or places. I have thought about merely scientific matters, and they have immediately known all about them; about persons, without the name, and they have known instantly; about places, towns and kingdoms, and they have at once known, because then, all the things which I have known about them are together; and the spirits then suppose that they know them as perfectly as I. Such is the communication. But places and persons are presented in certain quarters, according to the corresponding states at the time.


It must be known, moreover, that spiritual speech is in many expressions of human speech, principally those which belong to sensation, as, for example, when seeing is spoken about understanding; about perceiving, smelling is said; about tasting, in like manner, but in a grosser sense; that to hear is to obey, and so on. There is a spiritual therein, from the spiritual world. In the words of human speech are many such [cases]; and man is unaware that they are from the spiritual world, because he does not know what the spiritual is, nor what correspondence. The speech of the most ancient people was of such a character. At that time, the speech of words was exceedingly full of such [instances]: at first, [it was] spiritual, afterwards more and more natural, and at length sensual, such as it is at this day. That there was a most ancient speech of ideas and affections, see what [is said] about it in various places.


When a spirit turns himself to another spirit, or to a man who speaks from ideas or affections, fully or cogitatively, then he is wholly in the like, both in perception and in sense, if he speaks from truths confirmed in himself. This has often happened with me. And then they understand and perceive altogether like the other, if only his interiors were opened; for then the communication is full. The one is as it were in the other, or in the spirit of the other, as regards thoughts and affections, and then knows what he had not known, just as if he [knew it] of himself. Thus takes place, in the heavens, consociation and communication of all. But, as soon as one turns himself away, looks to the side, or backward, then he is brought into another thought; and, if he turns to his love, and to his faith, then he is in precisely the opposite perception, and the other's thought [with him] altogether perishes. Such a thing has frequently happened with me, and then the very infernals have acknowledged celestial truths; for celestial truths have such force; but, as soon as they turned themselves backward, they were in the contraries. I was often, by this means, harassed by spirits, who yet did not want [to admit it]. They believed that it was they who knew all the things which I knew; and so they wanted to instruct me, unaware of the fact that [their knowledge] was from my [mind], or from those things which were with me; when, nevertheless, from themselves they knew nothing at all about that identical matter, - as, also, was shown them several times.


((((When celestial angels hear truths from others, they then see them; thus, also, when they hear rational [arguments] they see them outside themselves, thus from the others, but not within themselves as the spiritual do. Hence, also, it is, that they know that those things inflow from others, and, if the others speak falses, that they do not receive them in themselves or believe them. By this also they are distinguished from the spiritual.))))


CONTINUATION ABOUT BABYLON. Because there are a large number of such as are called Babel, or Babylon, who are not yet vastated, but roam at large in the world of spirits, and this up to several hundred thousands, who are vastated successively as new ones arrive from the earth - it is, therefore, permitted them to carry on in like manner as at first, and, indeed, in the same quarters, or places. Similar things, therefore, were continually recurring; but, immediately thereafter, they are destroyed and cast into hells. This also was seen; and it happened when I was asleep. They assembled, up to many thousands, at the southern part towards the west, but in the remotest boundary there, and began to carry on similarly, to establish monasteries, to scrape together riches from others, and to lord it over souls; and, when assembled to the number of many thousands, they took upon them to wish to destroy those things which belong to the Lord, or which are with those with whom the Lord was. Then commenced their destruction; and they were cast, partly into a western place, and partly into the two gulfs there; and, when they were destroyed, that place appeared like the ruins of houses laid waste by fire, not anything being left - black from fire. It so happened after this, in every part, that, as soon as they are assembled to the number of several thousands, they are thus destroyed - also, everywhere else. For, such ones cannot be assembled elsewhere than in their own places, thus in places agreeing with their love. But this takes place, several times alternately through several alternations, after the Last Judgment, until [it happens], at length, that they are carried directly into the hells.


The former places, where their dwellings were in the surrounding quarters, are entirely deserted. There appear there only as it were stones round about the part; and barrenness everywhere. Thus those places are uninhabitable.


ABOUT A CERTAIN CHRISTIAN AMONG MOHAMMEDANS: ABOUT THE ONE GOD. AULAEVILL. There was a report about the Mohammedans, that they acknowledge the Lord, but only as the Grand Prophet, and do not acknowledge His Divinity, for the reason that they have not been able to understand how the Divine could exist divided into three persons, consequently into three Gods, and that, therefore, they have acknowledged one God the Creator of the universe, but the Lord as the Grand Prophet; and have affirmed the Holy Spirit to be spirits and angels. That Christian wanted to know whether such was their doctrine and sentiment. He approached them at the western part, wishing to question them about that matter. They spoke as they thought from their religion; but they asked the Christian what he believes about God - whether he believes that He is One. He said that he believed that God was One; but they examined the ideas of his thought, which easily takes place in the other life. They said that he does not believe that God is one, but that He is three, because in his thought he sets up three persons; and everyone of them as God. They then said, further, that he says one God, but, in heart, in faith, or in thought, he believes in three; when, nevertheless, a Christian ought to speak as he thinks and believes and not differently. Since he was unable to deny this, they then went on to say that it ought to be to the shame of Christians to think three gods, and that the very heathen are wiser, for their wise ones think that there is one God, and do not have more in their idea, as the Christians do. Wherefore, he retired, and said that he would never return to them; for he was overwhelmed with shame. He wanted to say that the three were one through agreement; but, still, he set up the idea of three Gods who were unanimous, when, yet, God is one. That there is a Divine Trine, but a Trine in the Lord, see the Heavenly Doctrine, 5600-1 concerning the Lord, Nos. [288-291 and 297], 5600-2 and the appendix to the Heavenly Doctrine at the article concerning the Lord [HD 306]. The Mohammedans kept him in the idea of his thought, in a manner which occurs in the other life, and he was not able to tear himself away from it, thus, not to deny it; and, then, he was, of consequence, overwhelmed with shame. I presented, afterwards, the Trinity in one person, and this in the Lord, together with certain [declarations] from the Word; and then they said that they perceived the thing could be so, and would be able to believe it, if, in the world, they had not felt differently. Nevertheless, they see that He is more than they have believed, from the fact that He had bound Mohammed, and, also, that He is called the Son of God, and that He was conceived of God Himself.


5560-1 A Parisian robber. He was executed for his crimes in the year 1721. -ED.

5562-1 Matt. 5:18; where, however, our English Version reads, "jot and tittle." -ED.

5565-1 That is, of course, either Addison or Steele - most likely Addison. Addison died 1719; Steele, 1729. The last number of the Spectator was issued at the end of 1714, the first number having seen the light in the early part of 1711. Since Swedenborg was in England from 1710 to 1712, for rather over two years, it is quite probable that he was one of the readers of that classic "newspaper" in the days of its publication as a periodical. It is eminently interesting to think of Swedenborg, at the age of twenty-three or twenty-four seated, of a morning, at a London breakfast-table, reading our own English Spectator of those days. -ED.

5573-1 Dr. Kahl takes this to be intended for Ulrik Christopher Frolich, a Swedish judge-provincial, and, in his latter days, Vice-Governor of Christianstadt. He was born in 1678 and died about 1750 (See Narratiunculoe, p. 20). -ED.

5578-1 I.e. "jots, and tittle," - see note to no. 5562. -ED.

5579-1 The word, "natural" is used in contradistinction to "artificial" or "acquired." -ED.

5579-2 In this case, "natural" is used to distinguish from "spiritual." -ED.

5585-1 I.e. as distinguished from "artificial," or "acquired." -ED.

5585-2 I.e. as distinguished from spiritual. -ED.

5585-3 The rendering here given, though not representing all that occurs in the Latin edition, does represent what, even according to the Editor of the Latin, Swedenborg himself wrote. All we have omitted is the portion added by Dr. Immanuel Tafel, which gives a different, and, we are satisfied, an erroneous sense. -ED.

5589-1 I.e. "natural" as distinguished from "artificial," or acquired. -ED.

5589-2 Dr. R. L. Tafel is of opinion that these signs in the margin are used by Swedenborg, here, as elsewhere, to indicate the days of the week on which the occurrences he is recording happened. The signs themselves stand, in astronomical usage, for the sun, moon, and planets, after which the days of the week are named, or to which they have been allotted. We take the arrow of the Latin Edition - which see - to be a misreading for "[circle with an arrow pointing upwards]" the sign for Mars, with which Tuesday is associated. The sign "[circle with a plus sign below and an inverted arc above]" stands for Mercury, which indicates Wednesday. These two signs occurring together, as in the margin in the present place, would, in this point of view, stand for "the night between Tuesday and Wednesday;" a phraseology paralleled by Swedenborg himself, in no. (4791m), which was written in "the night between the 15th and 19th November 1751." The reader should know that Swedenborg used the various astronomical signs to which days of the weeks are allotted, in connection with specific dates, almost habitually, during the seven and a half months between the 2nd February and the 15th September 1749. Between nos. [4139 1/2] and 4389, they appear, as maybe seen from the Latin, no less than 130 times. This fact makes it possible to test Dr. Tafel's opinion of their significance, by seeing whether the sign occurs in septennial periods (or multiples thereof. For the purpose of making this test in such a way that the reader may form his own judgment, we have drawn up the "Analytical table of Swedenborg's use of Astronomical Signs in connection with Dates," which may he found in the Preface to the present volume. -ED.

5589a-1 In the margin: "That the Law is written in their hearts, and that the celestials know truths without doctrine. - Jer. 31:33, 34.

5589c-1 I.e. as distinguished from "artificial" or "acquired:" not as distinguished from "spiritual." -ED.

5590-1 Here the term "natural" is used in contradistinction to "spiritual"-ED.

5600-1 That is, The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine. -ED.

5600-2 The references we have applied within the brackets in the text; are to the chapter "On the Lord," in the work mentioned in the preceding note, viz.: The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine - which, being published to the world in the year 1758, was, probably in preparation at the time this portion of Swedenborg's Diary [now called Spiritual Experiences] was written; that is, between "the 9th January, 1757" (see No. 5366, above), and "the 30th of March 1757" (see No. 5699 of the present work, in the succeeding volume). "[HD 306]" comes in, as Swedenborg here mentions, in an "appendix" to the above indicated chapter "On the Lord;" which appendix consists of references to passages in the Arcana Coelestia, where the various points summarily presented in the chapter itself maybe found discussed at large. The fact that Swedenborg, according to the Latin Editor left blanks, instead of filling in the nos. of the work to which he was referring seems to favor the inference that the references were to then unfinished work, - as, we have pointed out, the "Heavenly Doctrine" at that time was. -ED.

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