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Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at

Arcana Coelestia


From the description of these antediluvians as here given, it is evident what was the style of writing among the most ancient people, and thus what the prophetic style was. They are described here and up to the end of this chapter; in these verses they are described in respect to their persuasions, and in verse 23 in respect to their cupidities; that is, they are first described in respect to the state of the things of their understanding, and then in respect to the state of the things of their will. And although with them there were in reality no things of understanding or of will, still the things contrary to them are so to be called; that is to say, such things as persuasions of falsity, which are by no means things of understanding, and yet are things of thought and reason; and also such things as cupidities, which are by no means things of will. The antediluvians are described, I say, first as to their false persuasions, and then as to their cupidities, which is the reason why the things contained in verse 21 are repeated in verse 23, but in a different order. Such also is the prophetic style. [2] The reason is that with man there are two lives: one, of the things of the understanding; the other, of the things of the will, and these lives are most distinct from each other. Man consists of both, and although at this day they are separated in man, nevertheless they flow one into the other, and for the most part unite. That they unite, and how they unite, can be established and made clear by many illustrations. Since man therefore consists of these two parts (the understanding and the will, of which the one flows into the other), when man is described in the Word, he is described with distinctiveness as to the one part and as to the other. This is the reason of the repetitions, and without them the description would be defective. And the case is the same with every other thing as it is here with the will and the understanding, for things are circumstanced exactly as are their subjects, seeing that they belong to their subjects because they come forth from their subjects; a thing separated from its subject, that is, from its substance, is no thing. And this is the reason why things are described in the Word in a similar way in respect to each constituent part, for in this way the description of each thing is full.


That persuasions are here treated of, and cupidities in verse 23, may be known from the fact that in this verse "fowl" is first mentioned, and then "beast." For "fowl" signifies what is of the understanding, or of reason, and "beast" what is of the will. But when things belonging to cupidities are described, as in verse 23, "beast" is first mentioned, and then "fowl;" and this for the reason, as was said, that the one thus reciprocally flows into the other, and so the description of them is full.


As to fowl, and as to beast, and as to wild animal, and as to every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. That these signify the persuasions of those in whom "fowl" signifies affections of what is false, "beast" cupidities, "wild animal" pleasures, and "creeping thing" things corporeal and earthly, is evident from what has been already shown respecting the signification of "fowls" and of "beasts" (concerning "fowls" in n. 40, and above at verses 14 and 15 of this chapter; concerning "beasts" also in the same place, and in n. 45, 46, 142, 143, and 246). As "fowls" signify things of understanding, of reason, and of memory-knowledge, they signify also the contraries of these, as what is of perverted reason, falsities, and affections of what is false. The persuasions of the antediluvians are here fully described, namely, that there were in them affections of what is false, cupidities, pleasures, things corporeal and earthly. That all these are within persuasions, man is not aware, believing a principle or a persuasion of what is false to be but a simple thing, or one general thing; but he is much mistaken, for the case is very different. Every single affection of a man derives its existence and nature from things of his understanding and at the same time from those of his will, so that the whole man, both as to all things of his understanding and all things of his will, is in his every affection, and even in the most individual or least things of his affection. [2] This has been made evident to me by numerous experiences, as for example (to mention only one) that the quality of a spirit can be known in the other life from one single idea of his thought. Indeed angels have from the Lord the power of knowing at once, when they but look upon anyone, what his character is, nor is there any mistake. It is therefore evident that every single idea and every single affection of a man, even every least bit of his affection, is an image of him and a likeness of him, that is, there is present therein, nearly and remotely, something from all his understanding and from all his will. In this way then are described the direful persuasions of the antediluvians: that there were in them affections of what is false, and affections of what is evil, or cupidities, and also pleasures, and finally things corporeal and earthly. All these are within such persuasions; and not only in the persuasions in general, but also in the most individual or least things of the persuasions, in which things corporeal and earthly predominate. If man should know how much there is within one principle and one persuasion of what is false, he would shudder. It is a kind of image of hell. But if it be from innocence or from ignorance, the falsities therein are easily shaken off.


It is added, "every man" by which is signified that these things were in that man. This is a general concluding clause which includes all that goes before. Such clauses are often added.


All in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives. That this signifies the men who were of the Most Ancient Church in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives, that is, the life of love and of the derivative faith, is evident from what has been said before (n. 96, 97). Among the most ancient people, life was signified by the "breath in the nostrils" or by "breathing" which is the life of the body corresponding to spiritual things, as the motion of the heart is the life of the body corresponding to celestial things. [2] It is here said, "in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives" because the antediluvians are treated of, in whom by inheritance from their progenitors there was seed from the celestial, but extinct or suffocated. There is also a deeper meaning that lies hidden in these words, of which we have already spoken (n. 97), namely, that the man of the Most Ancient Church had internal respiration, and thus respiration concordant with and similar to that of angels, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. This respiration was varied in accordance with all the states of the internal man. But in process of time it was changed in their posterity, until this last generation, wherein all that was angelic perished. Then they could no longer respire with the angelic heaven. This was the real cause of their extinction; and therefore it is now said that they "expired" and that they in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives, "died." [3] After these times internal respiration ceased, and with it communication with heaven and thereby celestial perception, and external respiration succeeded. And because communication with heaven thus ceased, the men of the Ancient (or new) Church could no longer be celestial men like the Most Ancient, but were spiritual. But concerning these things, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.


Of all that was in the dry [land]. That this signifies those in whom there was no longer such life, and that their "dying" signifies that they expired, now follows from what has been shown. And because all the life of love and faith was extinguished, it is here said the "dry [land]." "Dry [land]" is where there is no water, that is, where there is no longer anything spiritual, still less celestial. A persuasion of falsity extinguishes and as it were suffocates everything spiritual and celestial; as everyone may know from much experience, if he pays attention. They who have once conceived opinions, though most false, cling to them so obstinately that they are not even willing to hear anything that is contrary to them; so that they never suffer themselves to be informed, even if the truth be placed before their eyes. Still more is this the case when they worship the false opinion from a notion of its sanctity. Such are they who spurn every truth, and that which they admit they pervert, and thus immerse in phantasies. It is they who are signified here by the "dry [land]" wherein there is no water and no grass. So in Ezekiel: I will make the rivers dry, and will sell the land into the hand of evil men; and I will make the land desolate, and the fullness thereof (Ezek. 30:12). To "make the rivers dry" signifies that there is no longer anything spiritual. And in Jeremiah: Your land is become dry [land] (Jer. 44:22). "Dry [land]" here denotes land that is desolated and laid waste, so that there is no longer anything of truth and good.


Verse 23. And He destroyed every substance that was upon the faces of the ground, from man even to beast, even to creeping thing, and even to the fowl of the heavens; and they were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only was left; and that which was with him in the ark. "And He destroyed every substance" signifies cupidities which are of the love of self; "that was upon the faces of the ground" signifies the posterity of the Most Ancient Church; "from man even to beast, even to creeping thing, and even to the fowl of the heavens" signifies the nature of their evil; "man" that nature itself, "beast" cupidities, "creeping thing" pleasures, "fowl of the heavens" falsities therefrom; "and they were destroyed from the earth" is the conclusion-that the Most Ancient Church expired. "Noah only was left, and that which was with him in the ark" signifies that they who constituted the new church were preserved; "that which was with him in the ark" signifies all things that were of the new church.


And he destroyed every substance. That this signifies cupidities which are of the love of self, is evident from what follows, where they are described by representatives. "Substance" is predicated of the things of the will, because from the will all things with man arise, that is, come into existence and subsist. The will is the very substance of man, or the man himself. The cupidities of the antediluvians were of the love of self. There are two most universal kinds of cupidities: one kind belongs to the love of self, the other to the love of the world. A man desires nothing else than what he loves, and therefore cupidities belong to his love. With these men the love of self reigned, and consequently its cupidities. For they so loved themselves that they believed themselves to be gods, not acknowledging any God above themselves; and of this they persuaded themselves.


That was upon the faces of the ground. That this signifies the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "ground" (of which before) as being the church, and therefore what is of the church. Here, as "every substance that was upon the faces of the ground" is said to be "destroyed" the meaning is that they who were of the Most Ancient Church, and were of such a character, were destroyed. Here it is said, "ground" though in the twenty-first verse it is said, "earth" for the reason that the church is never predicated of things of the understanding, but of things of the will. Religious knowledge and its attendant rational convictions [scientificum et rationale fidei] by no means constitute the church or man of the church, but charity, which is of the will. All that is essential comes from the will; and consequently neither does what is doctrinal make the church, unless both in general and in particular it looks to charity, for then charity becomes the end. From the end it is evident what kind of doctrine it is, and whether it is of the church or not. The church of the Lord, like the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens, consists of nothing but love and charity.


Both man and beast, and creeping thing, and fowl of the heavens. That these words signify the nature of their evil; "man" that nature itself; "beast" cupidities; "creeping thing" pleasures and "fowl of the heavens" falsities thence derived, is evident from the signification of all these things as given above, wherefore there is no need to dwell upon them.


And they were destroyed from the earth. That this is the conclusion, namely, that the Most Ancient Church expired; and that by "Noah only was left, and that which was with him in the ark" is signified that they were preserved who constituted the new church; and that by "that which was with him in the ark" are signified all things that were of the new church, needs no further explication, being self-evident.


Verse 24. And the waters were strengthened upon the earth a hundred and fifty days. This signifies the last limit of the Most Ancient Church; "a hundred and fifty" is the last limit, and the first.


That this signifies the last limit of the Most Ancient Church, and that "a hundred and fifty" is the last limit, and the first, cannot indeed be so well confirmed from the Word as can the more simple numbers, which are frequently occurring. And yet it is evident from the mention of the number "fifteen" (concerning which above at verse 20), which signifies so few as to be scarcely any; and this is still more the case with the number "a hundred and fifty" composed of fifteen multiplied by ten, which last signifies remains. The multiplication of a few (like the multiplication of a half, a fourth, or a tenth), makes it still less, so that at length it becomes almost none, consequently the end or last limit. The same number occurs in the following chapter (Gen. 8:3), where it is said: "the waters receded at the end of a hundred and fifty days" with the same signification. [2] The numbers mentioned in the Word are to be understood in a sense entirely abstracted from that of the letter. They are introduced (as has been said and shown before) merely to connect together the historic series that is in the sense of the letter. Thus where "seven" occurs, it signifies what is holy, entirely apart from the times and measures with which the number is commonly joined. For the angels, who perceive the internal sense of the Word, know nothing of time and measure, still less of the number designated; and yet they understand the Word fully, when it is being read by man. When therefore a number anywhere occurs, they can have no idea of any number, but of the thing signified by the number. So here by this number they understand that it denotes the last limit of the Mat Ancient Church; and in the following chapter (verse 3), that it denotes the first limit of the Ancient or new Church.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE HELLS. HERE, CONCERNING THE HELLS OF THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED THEIR LIFE IN HATREDS, REVENGES, AND CRUELTIES. Such spirits as cherish deadly hatred, and hence breathe out vengeance and nothing less than death to another, knowing no rest till then, are kept in the deepest cadaverous hell, where there is a noisome stench as of carcasses; and, wonderful to say, such spirits are so delighted with the stench there that they prefer it to the most pleasing odors. Such is their dreadful nature, and their consequent phantasy. A like stench actually exhales from that hell. When the hell is opened (which occurs rarely, and then only for a short time), so great a stench pours forth from it that spirits cannot remain in the neighborhood. Certain genii, or rather furies, who were sent forth thence in order that I might know their quality, infected the sphere with such poisonous and pestilent breath that the spirits about me could not stay; and at the same time it so affected my stomach that I vomited. They manifested themselves under the appearance of a little child, of not uncomely face, with a concealed dagger, whom they sent to me, bearing a cup in his hand. From this it was given me to know that they had a mind to murder, either with the dagger or with poison, under a show of innocence. Yet they themselves had naked bodies, and were very black. But presently they were sent back into their cadaverous hell, and it was then given me to observe how they sank down. They went on to the left, in the plane of the left temple, and to a great distance, without descending, and afterwards sank down; first into what appeared as a fire, then into a fiery smoke as of a furnace, and then under that furnace, toward the front, where were many most gloomy caverns tending downward. On the way they were continually revolving and intending evils, and chiefly against the innocent, without cause. When they sank down through the fire they greatly lamented. That they may be well distinguished as to whence and what they are, when they are sent out they have a kind of ring to which are affixed points as of brass, which they press with the hands and twist about. This is a sign that they are of this nature, and are bound.


They who so delight in hatred and the consequent revenge that they are not content to kill the body only, but desire to destroy the soul, which yet the Lord has redeemed, are sent down through a very dark opening toward the lowest parts of the earth, to a depth proportionate to the degree of their hatred and vindictiveness; and there they are struck with grievous terror and horror, and at the same time are kept in the lust for revenge; and as this increases they are sent down to lower depths. Afterwards they are sent into a place beneath Gehenna, where great and dreadful thick-bellied serpents appear (so vividly that it is just as if they were real), by whose bites they are tormented, feeling them acutely. Such things are keenly felt by spirits, answering to their life just as things of the body do to the life of those who are in the body. Meanwhile they live in direful phantasies for ages, until they no longer know that they have been men. Their life, which they have derived from such hatreds and revenges, cannot otherwise be extinguished.


As there are innumerable genera of hatreds and revenges, and species still more innumerable, and one genus has not the same hell as another, and as it is therefore impossible to recount them singly in their order, I may refer to what have been seen. One came to me who appeared to be a noble. (Those who appeared to me were seen as in clear daylight, and even more clearly, but by my internal sight; for of the Lord's Divine mercy it has been given me to be in company with spirits.) At his first approach he pretended by signs that he had much he wished to communicate to me, asking whether I was a Christian; to which I replied that I was. He said that he was too, and asked that he might be alone with me, to tell me something that others might not hear. But I answered that in the other life people cannot be alone, as men think they are on earth, and that many spirits were present. He now came nearer and approached stealthily behind me to the back of my head, and then I perceived that he was an assassin. While he was there I felt as it were a stab through the heart, and presently in the brain-such a blow as might easily be the death of a man. But as I was protected by the Lord, I feared nothing. What device he used I do not know. Thinking me dead, he told others that he had just come from a man whom he had killed in that way, and by a deadly stroke from behind, saying that he was so skillful in the art that a man would not know until he fell down dead, and it would not be doubted that he himself was innocent. It was given me to know from this that he had but lately departed from life, where he had committed such a deed. The punishment of such is dreadful. After they have suffered infernal torments for ages, they at length come to have a detestable and most monstrous face-such as is not a face, but a ghastly thing as of tow. Thus they put off everything human, and then everyone shudders at the sight of them, and so they wander about like wild beasts, in dark places.


There came one to me out of an infernal apartment at the left side and spoke with me. It was given me to perceive that he was of a villainous crew. What he had done in the world was disclosed in the following manner. He was sent down somewhat deep into the lower earth, in front, a little to the left, and there he began to dig a grave, as is done for the dead who are to be buried. From this arose a suspicion that in the life of the body he had perpetrated some deadly deed. Then there appeared a funeral bier covered with a black cloth. Presently one rising from the bier came to me, and in a devout manner related that he had died, and that he believed he had been killed by that man with poison, and that he had thought so at the hour of his death, but did not know whether it was more than a suspicion. When the infamous spirit heard this, he confessed that he had committed such a deed. After the confession, punishment followed. He was twice rolled about in the dark hole he had dug, and became as black as an Egyptian mummy, both face and body, and in that state was taken up on high and carried about before spirits and angels, and the cry was heard: What a devil! He also became cold, thus one of the cold infernals, and was sent down into hell.


There is a dreadful hell beneath the buttocks, where they seem to stab one another with knives, aiming the knives at one another's breasts like furies, but in the act of striking the knife is continually taken away from them. They are those who have held others in such hatred that they burned to kill them cruelly; and from this they had derived a nature so direful. This hell was opened to me (but only a little on account of their direful cruelties), so that I might see the nature of deadly hatred.


There is at the left, in a plane with the lower parts of the body, a kind of stagnant lake, large, and of greater length than breadth. About its bank in front there appear to those who are there monstrous serpents, such as inhabit stagnant waters, with pestilent breath. Farther away, on the left bank, appear those who eat human flesh, and devour one another, fastening with their teeth on one another's shoulders. Still farther away to the left appear great fishes, enormous whales, which swallow a man and vomit him out again. In the farthest distance, or on the opposite shore, appear very ugly faces, too monstrous to be described, chiefly those of old women, who run about as if frenzied. On the right bank are those who are trying to butcher each other with cruel instruments, which vary in accordance with the direful feelings of their hearts. In the middle of the lake it is everywhere black, as if stagnant. Sometimes I have been surprised to see spirits brought to this lake, but was informed by some who came from it and told me, that they were those who had cherished intestine hatred against the neighbor; and that their hatred burst forth as often as occasion offered, in which they perceived their greatest delight; and that nothing had pleased them more than to bring a neighbor to judgment and cause punishment to be inflicted on him, and, if the penalties of the law had not deterred them, to put him to death. Into such things (as described above) are the hatreds and cruelties of men turned after the life of the body. The phantasies to which their hatreds and cruelties give rise have to them the reality of life.


In the other life those who have practiced robbery and piracy love rank and fetid urine above all other liquids, and seem to themselves to dwell among such things, and among stagnant and stinking pools. A certain robber approached me, gnashing his teeth, the sound of which was as plainly heard as if it had proceeded from a man, which was strange, since they have no teeth. He confessed that he would rather live in urinous filth than by the clearest waters, and that the smell of urine was what he delighted in. He said he would rather stay and have his home in urinous vats than anywhere else.


There are those who outwardly present an honorable face and life, so that no one could suspect them of being other than honorable, studying in every way to appear so, for the sake of being raised to honors, and of acquiring wealth without the loss of reputation. They therefore do not act openly; but through others by deceitful artifices they deprive men of their goods, caring nothing if the families they despoil perish of hunger, and they would themselves be personal agents in this villainy, without any conscience, if they could escape public notice, so that they really are of the same character as if they perpetrated it by their own act. They are hidden robbers, and the kind of hatred peculiar to them is joined with scornful contempt for others, greed of gain, unmercifulness, and deceit. In the other life such men desire to be esteemed blameless, saying that they have done nothing wrong, because it was not detected. And to show themselves guiltless, they put off their garments and present themselves naked-in this way attesting their innocence. Yet while they are being examined their quality is thoroughly well perceived from every single word and every single idea of their thought, without their being aware of it. Such, in the other life, desire without any conscience to murder whatever companions they fall in with. They have also an axe with them, and a maul in their hand, and seem to have another spirit with them whom they strike, when on his back; but not to the shedding of blood, for they are afraid of death. And they cannot cast these weapons out of their hands although they strive to do so with all their might, in order to prevent the actual ferocity of their disposition from appearing before the eyes of spirits and angels. They are at a middle distance under the feet, toward the front.


There is a kind of hatred against the neighbor, which finds its delight in injuring and harassing everyone; and the more mischief they can do the more delighted they are. There are very many such from the lowest of the common people. And there are those not of the common people who have a similar disposition, but outwardly are of better manners, from having been brought up in good society, and also from fear of legal penalties. After death, the upper part of the body of these spirits appears naked, and their hair disheveled. They annoy one another by rushing forward and placing the palms of their hands on each other's shoulders, and they then leap over their heads, and soon come back and make a severe attack with their fists. Those of whom it was said that they have better manners act in a similar way, but first exchange greetings, then go round behind their neighbor's back, and so attack with the fist; but when they see each other face to face they make a salutation, and again go round behind his back and strike him with the fist. In this way they keep up appearances. These appear at some distance toward the left side, at a middle height.


Whatever a man has done in the life of the body successively returns in the other life, and so does all that he has even thought. When his enmities, hatreds, and deceits return, the persons against whom he has indulged hatred and has clandestinely plotted are made present to him, and this in a moment. Such is the case in the other life; but concerning this presence, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. The thoughts a man has harbored against others make their appearance openly, for there is a perception of all thoughts. Hence come lamentable states, for there concealed hatreds break out openly. With the evil all their evil deeds and thoughts thus return, to the life; but it is not so with the good. With these all their good states of friendship and love return, attended with the highest delight and happiness.


CHAPTER 8. CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE HELLS. HERE CONCERNING THE HELLS OF THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED THEIR LIVES IN ADULTERIES AND LASCIVIOUSNESS. ALSO CONCERNING THE HELLS OF THE DECEITFUL, AND OF SORCERESSES. Beneath the heel of the right foot 824-1 is a hell inhabited by those who have delighted in cruelty and at the same time in adulteries, and have felt in them the greatest delight of their lives. It is remarkable that those who have been cruel in the life of the body have been also, more than others, adulterers. Such are those who are in this hell, where they practice unspeakable methods of cruelty. By their phantasies they make themselves vessels as for braying, like those used for braying herbs, and pestles, wherewith they bray 824-2 and torture whomsoever they can; and also as it were broad axes, like those of executioners; and augers, with which they do cruel violence to one another; not to mention other direful cruelties. Some of the Jews are there who in former times so cruelly treated the Gentiles. And at this day that hell is increasing, especially from those who come from the so-called Christian world and have had all the delight of their life in adulteries, who also are for the most part cruel. Sometimes their delight is turned into the stench of human excrement, which exhales excessively when that hell is opened. I perceived it in the world of spirits, and at the time almost fell into a swoon from the effect of it. This noisome, excrementitious smell by turns fills the hell, and by turns ceases; for it is their delight from adulteries which is turned into such offensiveness. In process of time, when they have passed through a given period in such things, they are left alone and sit in torment, becoming like unsightly skeletons, but still living.


In the plane of the soles of the feet, at a considerable distance in front, there is a hell which is called Gehenna, where are shameless women who have placed all their delight in adulteries, and have regarded adulteries as not only permissible but honorable, and who under various pretenses of honorableness have allured the guileless and innocent to such things. A kind of fiery glow appears there, such as overcasts the sky from a great conflagration; and it is attended with fiery heat, as it was given me to feel by the warmth from it on my face; and there is a stench exhaled therefrom, as from burning bones and hair. Sometimes this hell is changed into direful serpents, which bite them; and then they long for death, but cannot die. Certain women released therefrom came to me and said there was a fiery heat there; but that when they are allowed to draw near to any society of good spirits the heat is changed to intense cold; and then burning heat and cold alternate with them, from one extreme to the other, by which they are miserably tormented. But yet they have their intervals during which they are in the heat of their fiery lust. But, as was said, their states vary.


There were some, of both sexes, from the so-called Christian world, who in their life of the body had believed adulteries to be not only lawful but even holy, and so held collective marriages, as they impiously call them, under a show of sanctity. I saw that they were sent into Gehenna; but when they came there a change took place; the fieriness of Gehenna, which is ruddy, at their coming became whiter; and it was perceived that they could not agree together. This execrable troop was therefore separated and driven away into a region behind (into another world, it was said), where they would be immersed in stagnant pools, and from there would be conveyed into a new Gehenna appointed for them. There was heard in Gehenna a kind of hissing that cannot be described; but the hiss or buzz of Gehenna was grosser than that of those who had defiled holiness by their adulteries.


Those who ensnare by pretended regard for conjugial love and love for children, so deporting themselves that the husband shall have no suspicion but that his guests are chaste, guileless, and friendly, and under such and various other pretenses the more safely commit adultery, are in a hell under the buttocks, in the filthiest excrement; and are vastated until they become as bones, because they rank with the deceitful. Such do not even know what conscience is. I have talked with them, and they were surprised that anyone should have conscience and should say that adulteries are contrary to conscience. They were told that it is as impossible for such conscienceless adulterers to come into heaven as it is for fishes to rise into the air, or birds into the ether, because if they but approach they have a feeling of suffocation, and their delight is turned into a noisome stench; and that they cannot but be thrust down into hell, and become at last as of bone, with little life, because they have acquired to themselves a life of such a character that when they lose it, very little of truly human life remains.


They who are possessed with the lust of defloration, and who find their greatest delight in virginities and the theft of them, without any purpose of marriage and offspring, and who when they have robbed virginity of its flower, afterwards forsake, loathe, and prostitute their victims, suffer the most grievous punishment in the other life, because such a life is contrary to order-natural, spiritual, and celestial; and because it is not only contrary to conjugial love, which is held in heaven to be most holy, but is also contrary to innocence, which they violate and kill by enticing the innocent, who might otherwise be imbued with conjugial love, into a meretricious life; for it is the first flower of love which introduces virgins into chaste conjugial love, and conjoins the minds of a married pair. And because the holiness of heaven is founded in conjugial love and in innocence, and such men are therefore interior murderers, they seem to themselves to be sitting upon a furious horse, which tosses them up so that they are thrown from the horse, to the peril of their life as it seems-such terror seizes them. Afterwards they appear to themselves to be under the belly of the furious horse, and presently seem to themselves to go through the hinder part of the horse into his belly; and then suddenly it appears to them as if they were in the belly of a filthy harlot, which harlot is changed into a great dragon, and there they remain wrapped in torment. This punishment returns many times during hundreds and thousands of years, until they are imbued with a horror of such desires. Respecting their offspring I have been told that they are worse than other children, because they derive from the father something of a like heredity; and therefore children are rarely born from such intercourse, and those that are born do not remain long in this life.


They who in the life of the body think lasciviously, and give a lascivious turn to whatever others say, even to holy things, and this even in adult and old age when nothing of natural lasciviousness incites, do not desist or think and speak differently in the other life; and as there their thoughts are communicated, and sometimes come forth into obscene representations before other spirits, they give offense. Their punishment is, that in the presence of the spirits whom they have offended they are thrown prostrate and rapidly rolled over and over like a roller from left to right, and then transversely in another position, and so in another-naked before all, or half naked, according to the nature of their lasciviousness, and at the same time they are inspired with shame. Then they are whirled about by the head and feet, horizontally, as upon an axis. Resistance is induced, and at the same time pain; for there are two forces acting, one whirling around, the other backward, so that the punishment is attended with the pain of being torn asunder. After undergoing these penalties, an opportunity is afforded the miserable sufferer of withdrawing himself from the sight of other spirits, and a sense of shame is instilled into him. Yet there are those who try him to see whether he still persists in such things; but so long as he is in a state of shame and distress he is on his guard. Thus he seems to himself to be hidden, although they know where he is. This punishment appeared in front, at some distance. There are also boys, youths, and young men who from the madness and hot desire of their age have conceived abominable principles: as that wives, especially those that are young and beautiful, ought not to be for a husband, but for themselves and their like, the husband remaining only head of the household and educator of the children. These are distinguished in the other life by the boyish sound of their speech. They are behind at some height there. Those of them who have confirmed themselves in such principles, and in actual life conformable thereto, are grievously punished in the other life, by having their joints put out of place and back again, or twisted one way and the other, by spirits who can by their art induce upon them the phantasy of being in the body, and at the same time make them feel bodily pain. By these violent alternations, together with their struggles in resistance, they are so rent that they seem to themselves as if dismembered and torn to bits, with frightful pain; and this time after time, until being struck with horror at such principles of life they cease to think in that way.


They who beguile men by subtle deceit, wearing a pleasant face and manner of speech, but concealing envenomed guile within, and thus captivating men for the purpose of ruining them, are in a hell more dreadful than the hells of others, even more dreadful than the hell of murderers. They seem to themselves to live among serpents; and the more pernicious their deceit has been, the more dreadful and venomous and the more numerous the serpents appear which surround and torment them. They know not but that they are serpents; they feel similar pains and similar torments. Few perhaps will believe this, but yet it is true. These are they who practice deceit with premeditation, and feel therein the delight of their life. The punishments of the deceitful are various, each according to the nature of the deceit. In general such persons are not tolerated in societies, but are expelled; for whatever a spirit thinks, they who are near instantly know and perceive; thus they perceive whether there is anything of deceit, and what sort of deceit. Therefore, being at length expelled from societies, they sit in solitude; and they then appear with a broad face, the breadth equaling that of four or five faces of others, and with a broad fleshy cap turning white, sitting as images of death, in torment. There are others who are deceitful by nature, thus not so much from premeditation, and not clandestinely under a feigned countenance. They are known at once, and their thought is plainly perceived. They even boast of it, as if they would appear shrewd. These have not such a hell. But, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, more will be said about the deceitful hereafter.


There are women who have lived in the indulgence of their natural inclinations, caring only for themselves and the world, and making the whole of life and the delight of life to consist in outward decorum, in consequence of which they have been highly esteemed in polite society. They have thus, by practice and habit, acquired the talent of insinuating themselves into the desires and pleasures of others, under the pretense of what is honorable, but with the purpose of gaining control over them. Their life therefore became one of dissimulation and deceit. Like others they frequented churches, but for no other end than that they might appear virtuous and pious; and moreover they were without conscience, and very prone to shameful acts and adulteries, so far as these could be concealed. Such women think in the same way in the other life, knowing not what conscience is, and ridiculing those who speak of it. They enter into the affections of others, whatever these may be, by simulating virtue, piety, pity, and innocence, which are their means of deceiving; but whenever outward restraints are removed, they rush into things most wicked and obscene. [2] These are the women who become enchantresses or sorceresses in the other life, some of whom are those called Sirens; and they there become expert in arts unknown in the world. They are like sponges that imbibe nefarious artifices; and are of such talent that they quickly put them in practice. The arts unknown in this world which they learn in the other are these. They can speak as though they were in another place, so that their voice is heard there as from good spirits. They can as it were be with many at the same time, thus persuading others that they are as if present everywhere. They can speak as several persons at the same time, and in several places at the same time. They can turn aside what flows in from good spirits, even what flows in from angelic spirits, and in diverse ways pervert it instantly in favor of themselves. They can put on the likeness of another, by the ideas of him which they conceive and fashion. They can inspire anyone with an affection for themselves, by insinuating themselves into the very state of another's affection. They can withdraw suddenly out of sight, and escape unseen. They can represent before the eyes of spirits a white flame about the head, which is an angelic sign, and this before many. They can in diverse ways feign innocence, even by representing infants whom they kiss. They also excite others, whom they hate, to kill them (for they know they cannot die), and then divulge it and accuse them of murder. [3] They have called up out of my memory whatever of evil I have thought and done, and this most skillfully. While I was asleep they have talked with others, just as if from me, so that the spirits were persuaded of it, thus of things false and obscene. And many other arts they have. Their nature is so persuasive that no room is left therein for any doubt; therefore their ideas are not communicated like those of other spirits. And their eyes are like those ascribed to serpents, seeing and paying attention every way at once. These sorceresses or sirens are grievously punished, some in Gehenna, some in a kind of court among snakes; some by wrenchings and various collisions, attended with the greatest pain and torture. In course of time they are separated from all society and become like skeletons from head to foot. A continuation of the subject follows at the end of the chapter. CHAPTER 8. 1. And God remembered Noah, and every wild animal, and every beast that was with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. 2. The fountains also of the deep, and the cataracts of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. 3. And the waters receded from off the earth, going and returning; and after the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters failed. 4. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5. And the waters were going and failing until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared. 6. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7. And he sent forth a raven, and it went forth, going and returning, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8. And he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the faces of the ground. 9. And the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him to the ark, for the waters were on the faces of the whole earth; and he put forth his hand and took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark. 10. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11. And the dove came back to him at eventide; and lo in her mouth an olive leaf plucked off; so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 12. And he stayed yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove, and she returned not again unto him anymore. 13. And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the beginning, on the first of the month, that the waters were dried up from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and saw, and behold, the faces of the ground were dry. 14. In the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry. 15. And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16. Go forth from the ark, thou and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. 17. Every wild animal that is with thee of all flesh, as to fowl, and as to beast, and as to every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, bring forth with thee, that they may spread themselves in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. 18. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him. 19. Every wild animal, every creeping thing, and every fowl, everything that creepeth upon the earth, according to their families, went forth out of the ark. 20. And Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21. And Jehovah smelled an odor of rest; and Jehovah said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore on man's account; because the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite anymore everything living, as I have done. 22. During all the days of the earth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.


THE CONTENTS The subject which now follows in due connection is the man of the new church, who is called "Noah;" and in fact the subject is his state after temptation, even to his regeneration, and thereafter.


His first state after temptation, and his fluctuation between what is true and what is false, until truths begin to appear, is treated of (verses 1 to 5).


His second state which is threefold: first, when the truths of faith are not yet; next, when there are truths of faith together with charity; and afterwards, when the goods of charity shine forth (verses 6 to 14).


His third state, when he begins to act and think from charity, which is the first state of the regenerate (verses 15 to 19).


His fourth state, when he acts and thinks from charity, which is the second state of the regenerate (verses 20, 21).


Lastly, the new church, raised up in the place of the former is described (verses 21, 22).


THE INTERNAL SENSE. In the two preceding chapters, the new church called "Noah" or the man of that church, was treated of: first, his preparation for receiving faith, and by faith, charity; next, his temptation; and afterwards, his protection, when the Most Ancient Church was perishing. What here follows is his state after temptation, which is described exactly in the order in which it was effected, both with him and with all who become regenerate; for the Word of the Lord is such that wherever it treats of one person, it treats of all men, and of every individual, with a difference according to the disposition of each: this being the universal sense of the Word.


Verse 1. And God remembered Noah, and every wild animal, and every beast that was with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. "And God remembered" signifies the end of temptation and beginning of renovation; by "Noah" is signified, as before, the man of the Ancient Church; by "every wild animal and every beast that was with him in the ark" are signified all things that he had; and by "God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged" is signified the disposal of all things into their order.


And God remembered. That this signifies the end of temptation and the beginning of renovation, is evident from what precedes and follows. "God remembered" signifies, specifically, that He is merciful, for His remembrance is mercy; and this is especially predicated after temptation, because new light then shines forth. So long as temptation continues, the man supposes the Lord to be absent, because he is troubled by evil genii so severely that sometimes he is reduced to despair, and can scarcely believe there is any God. Yet the Lord is then more closely present than he can ever believe. But when temptation ceases, the man receives consolation, and then first believes the Lord to be present. Therefore in the passage before us, the words "God remembered" expressed according to the appearance, signify the end of temptation, and the beginning of renovation. "God" is said to remember, and not "Jehovah" because as yet the man was in a state antecedent to regeneration; but when he is regenerated, then "Jehovah" is named (as at the end of this chapter, verses 20, 21). The reason is that faith is not yet conjoined with charity, for man is for the first time said to be regenerated when he acts from charity. In charity Jehovah is present, but not so much in faith before it is joined to charity. Charity is the very being and life of man in the other world; and as Jehovah is Being and Life itself, so before man is and lives, "Jehovah" is not said to be with him, but "God."


That by " Noah" is signified, as before, the man of the Ancient Church; and by "every wild animal, and every beast that was with him in the ark" everything that belonged to him, is evident from what was previously stated concerning Noah, and concerning the signification of "wild animal" and "beast." In the Word "wild animal" is taken in a twofold sense, namely, for those things in man which are alive, and for those which are dead. It stands for what is alive, because the word in the Hebrew tongue signifies a living thing; but as the most ancient people in their humiliation acknowledged themselves to be as wild animals, the word became also a type of what is dead in man. In the present passage, by "wild animal" is meant both what is alive and what is dead in one complex, in accordance with what is usually the case with man after temptation, in whom the living and the dead, or the things which are of the Lord, and those which are man's own, appear so confounded that he scarcely knows what is true and good; but the Lord then reduces and disposes all things into order, as is evident from what follows. That a "wild animal" signifies what is alive in man, may be seen in the preceding chapter (Gen. 7:14), and in the present chapter (Gen. 8:17, 19); that it also signifies what is dead in man, is evident from what has been shown above respecting wild animals and beasts (n. 45-46, 142-143, 246).


And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. That this signifies the disposal of all things into their order, is evident from the signification of "wind" in the Word. All spirits, both good and evil, are compared and likened to and are also called "winds;" and in the original tongue "spirits" are expressed by the same word that means "winds." In temptations (which are here the "waters that assuaged" as was shown above), evil spirits cause an inundation, by inflowing in crowds with their phantasies, and exciting similar phantasies in man; and when these spirits or their phantasies are dispersed, it is said in the Word to be done by a "wind" and indeed by an "east wind." [2] It is the same with one man during temptation and when the commotions or waters of temptation cease, as it is with man in general, as I have learned by repeated experience; for evil spirits in the world of spirits sometimes band together in troops, and thereby excite disturbances until they are dispersed by other bands of spirits, coming mostly from the right, and so from the eastern quarter, who strike such fear and terror into them that they think of nothing but flight. Then those who had associated themselves are dispersed into all quarters, and thereby the societies of spirits formed for evil purposes are dissolved. The troops of spirits who thus disperse them are called the East Wind; and there are also innumerable other methods of dispersion, also called "east winds" concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. When evil spirits are thus dispersed, the state of commotion and turbulence is succeeded by serenity, or silence, as is also the case with the man who has been in temptation; for while in temptation he is in the midst of such a band of spirits, but when they are driven away or dispersed, there follows as it were a calm, which is the beginning of the disposal of all things into order. [3] Before anything is reduced into a state of order, it is most usual that things should be reduced into a confused mass, or chaos as it were, so that those which do not well cohere together may be separated, and when they are separated, then the Lord disposes them into order. This process may be compared with what takes place in nature, where all things in general and singly are first reduced to a confused mass, before being disposed into order. Thus, for instance, unless there were storms in the atmosphere, to dissipate whatever is heterogeneous, the air could never become serene, but would become deadly by pestiferous accumulations. So in like manner in the human body, unless all things in the blood, both heterogeneous and homogeneous, did continuously and successively flow together into one heart, to be there commingled, there would be deadly conglutinations of the liquids, and they could in no way be distinctly disposed to their respective uses. Thus also it is with man in the course of his regeneration. [4] That "wind" and especially the "east wind" signifies nothing else than the dispersion of falsities and evils, or, what is the same, of evil spirits and genii, and afterwards a disposal into order, may be seen from the Word, as in Isaiah: Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in Jehovah, thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 41:16). Here dispersion is compared to "wind" and scattering to a "whirlwind" which is said of evils; then they who are regenerate shall rejoice in Jehovah. In David: Lo, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together; they saw it, then were they amazed; they were dismayed, they hasted away; trembling took hold of them there, pain as of a woman in travail; with the east wind Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish (Ps. 48:4-7). Here is described the terror and confusion occasioned by an east wind, the description being taken from what passes in the world of spirits, which is involved in the internal sense of the Word. [5] In Jeremiah: To make their land an astonishment: I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy, I will look upon their neck, and not their face, in the day of their calamity (Jer. 18:16-17). Here in like manner the "east wind" stands for the dispersion of falsities. Similar also was the representation of the east wind by which the Red Sea was dried up, that the sons of Israel might pass over, as described in Exodus: Jehovah caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided (Exod. 14:21). The signification of the waters of the Red Sea was similar to that of the waters of the flood in the present passage, as is evident from the fact that the Egyptians (by whom are represented the wicked) were drowned therein, while the sons of Israel (by whom are represented the regenerate, as by "Noah" here) passed over. By the "Red Sea" the same as by the "flood" is represented damnation, as also temptation; and thus by the "east wind" is signified the dissipation of the waters, that is, of the evils of damnation, or of temptation, as is evident from the song of Moses after they had passed over (Exod. 15:1-19); and also from Isaiah: Jehovah shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it into seven streams, and cause men to march over dryshod. And there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people which shall remain, from Assyria, like as there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt (Isa. 11:15-16). Here "a highway for the remnant of the people which shall remain, from Assyria" signifies a disposing into order.


Verse 2. The fountains also of the deep and the cataracts of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. These words signify that temptation ceased; "the fountains also of the deep" signify evils of the will; "the cataracts of heaven" falsities of the understanding; and "rain" signifies temptation itself in general.


From this to the sixth verse the first state of the man of this church is treated of, after temptation; and what is said in the present verse signifies the cessation of temptation. His temptation, both as to what is of the will and as to what is of the understanding, has been previously treated of; and its cessation as to what is of the will is here meant by "the fountains of the deep being stopped;" and its cessation as to what is of the understanding, by "the cataracts of heaven being stopped." That these expressions have such a signification has been stated and shown in the preceding chapter (Gen. 7:11); and also that "rain" signifies temptation itself (Gen. 7:12), wherefore there is no need to dwell longer in confirmation.


The reason why the "fountains of the deep" signify temptation as to what is of the will, and the "cataracts of heaven" temptation as to what is of the understanding, is that it is what is of the will of man that is influenced by hell, and not so much what is of the understanding, unless this has been immersed in cupidities, which are of the will. Evils, which are of the will, are what condemn man and thrust him down to hell, and not so much falsities, unless they become conjoined with evils, for then the one follows the other. The truth of this statement may be seen from the case of very many of those who are in falsities, and are yet saved, which is the case with many among the Gentiles, who have lived in natural charity and in mercy, and with Christians who have believed in simplicity of heart. Their ignorance and simplicity excuse them, because in these there can be innocence. But it is otherwise with those who have confirmed themselves in falsities, and have thus contracted such a life of falsity that they refuse and reject all truth; for this life of falsity must be vastated before anything of truth and thus of good can be inseminated. It is, however, still worse with those who have confirmed themselves in falsities under the influence of their cupidities, so that the falsities and the cupidities have come to constitute one life; for these are they who plunge themselves into hell. This is the reason why temptation as to what is of the will is signified by the "fountains of the deep" which are the hells, and temptation as to what is of the understanding by the "cataracts of heaven" which are the clouds, from which comes rain.


Verse 3. And the waters receded from off the earth, going and returning; and after the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters failed. "The waters receded from off the earth, going and returning" signifies fluctuations between what is true and what is false; and "after the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters failed" signifies that the temptations ceased; "a hundred and fifty days" here as above signify a termination.


And the waters receded from off the earth, going and returning. That this signifies fluctuations between what is true and what is false, is evident from what has been said: that the waters of the flood, or inundations, with respect to Noah, signified temptations; for as the subject is here the first state after temptation, the "waters receding, going and returning" can signify nothing else than fluctuation between truths and falsities. The nature of this fluctuation, however, cannot be known unless it is known what temptation is, for such as is the temptation, such is the fluctuation after it. When the temptation is celestial, then the fluctuation is between good and evil; when it is spiritual, the fluctuation is between what is true and what is false; and when it is natural, the fluctuation is between the things that belong to and those which are contrary to the cupidities. [2] There are many kinds of temptations, which are in general the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural; and these ought never to be confounded. Celestial temptations can exist only with those who are in love to the Lord, and spiritual ones with those only who are in charity toward the neighbor. Natural temptations are altogether distinct from these, and indeed are not temptations, but merely anxieties arising from natural loves being assailed by misfortunes, diseases, or a depraved condition of the blood and other fluids of the body. From this brief account it may in some degree be known what temptation is, namely, anguish and anxiety occasioned by whatever opposes one's loves. Thus with those who are in love to the Lord, whatever assails this love produces an inmost torture, which is celestial temptation; with those who are in love toward the neighbor, or charity, whatever assails this love occasions torment of conscience, and this is spiritual temptation. [3] But with those who are natural, what they frequently call temptations and the pangs of conscience, are not temptations, but only anxieties arising from their loves being assailed, as when they foresee and are sensible of the loss of honor, of the good things of the world, of reputation, pleasures, bodily life, and the like; nevertheless these troubles are wont to be productive of some good. Temptations are moreover experienced by those who are in natural charity, and consequently by all kinds of heretics, Gentiles, and idolaters, arising from assaults on the life of their faith which they cherish. But these are distresses that merely emulate spiritual temptations.


When the temptations are over, there is as it were a fluctuation, and if the temptation was spiritual, it is a fluctuation between what is true and what is false, which may be sufficiently evident from this, that temptation is the beginning of regeneration; and as all regeneration has for its end that man may receive new life, or rather that he may receive life, and from being no man may become man, or from dead be made living, therefore when his former life, which is merely animal, is destroyed by temptations, he cannot but fluctuate between what is true and what is false. Truth is of the new life, falsity of the old; and unless the former life is destroyed, and this fluctuation takes place, it is impossible for any spiritual seed to be sown, because there is no ground. [2] When however the former life is destroyed and such fluctuation results, the man scarcely knows what is true and good, and indeed scarcely whether there is any such thing as truth. Thus, for example, when he reflects about the goods of charity, or, as they are called, good works, and considers whether or no he can do them from himself and have merit in himself, he is in such obscurity and darkness, that when informed that no one can do good from himself or from his Own, and that still less can anyone possess merit, but that all good is from the Lord, and all merit is His alone, he must be lost in wonder. And so it is in all other matters of faith; but still the obscurity and darkness of his mind become sensibly and gradually enlightened. [3] It is with regeneration exactly as with man's birth as an infant. His life is then very obscure; he knows almost nothing, and therefore at first receives only general impressions of things, which by degrees become more distinct as particular ideas are inserted in them, and in these again still more minute particulars. Thus are generals illustrated by particulars, so that the child may learn not only the existence of things, but also their nature and quality. So it is with everyone who emerges out of spiritual temptation; and the state of those in the other life who have been in falsities and are being vastated, is also similar. This state is called Fluctuation, and is here described by "the waters receding, going and returning."


And after the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters failed. That this signifies that temptations ceased, now follows plainly from what has been said. That "a hundred and fifty days" signifies a termination, is evident from what was said of this number in the foregoing chapter (Gen. 7:24); thus here it is the termination of the fluctuation and the beginning of a new life.


Verse 4. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. "The ark rested" signifies regeneration; "the seventh month" signifies what is holy; "the seventeenth day of the month" signifies what is new; and "the mountains of Ararat" signifies light.


824-1 The author speaks of places in the spiritual world as being situated in accordance with their correspondence to the human body. [Reviser.]

824-2 See Prov. 27:22; 2 Sam. 12:31; and Spiritual Experiences 2639.

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