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

Arcana Coelestia


Verse 14. And Jehovah said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up, I pray, thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. "Jehovah said unto Abram," signifies that Jehovah spoke thus to the Lord; "after that Lot was separated from him," signifies when the cupidities of the external man had been removed so as not to impede; "Lift up, I pray, thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art," signifies the state in which the Lord then was, from which He could perceive things that were to come; "northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward," signifies all men, as many as there are in the universe.


Jehovah said unto Abram. That this signifies that Jehovah thus spoke to the Lord, may be seen from the internal sense of the Word, in which the Lord is meant by "Abram;" and also from the state itself in which He then was, which is also described here, namely, that the external things that impeded had been removed, which is signified by the words "after that Lot was separated from him." In respect to the internal man, the Lord was Divine, because born from Jehovah; and therefore when nothing impeded on the part of the external man, it follows that He saw all things that were to come; and that this then appeared as if Jehovah spoke is because it appeared before the external man. In respect to His internal man the Lord was one with Jehovah, as He Himself teaches in John: Philip said, Show us the Father. Jesus said, Have I been so long time with you, and hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that seeth Me seeth the Father; how sayest thou, then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (John 14:6, 8-11).


After that Lot was separated from him. That this signifies when the cupidities of the external man had been removed so as not to impede, is evident from the representation of Lot, which is the external man, and from what precedes in regard to his being separated, that is, the things that would impede; and when these had been removed, the internal man, or Jehovah, acted as one with the external, or with the Lord's Human Essence. The external things that do not agree, spoken of above, are what impede the internal man, while acting into the external, from making it a one with itself. The external man is nothing else than a kind of instrument, or something organic, having in itself no life; it receives life from the internal man, and then it appears as if the external man had life from itself. [2] But with the Lord, after He had expelled the hereditary evil, and so had purified the organic things of His Human Essence, these too received life, so that the Lord, being already life in regard to His internal man, became life as to His external man also. This is what is signified by "glorification," in John: Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him (John 13:31-32). Again: Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee. Now therefore O Father glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was (John 17:1, 5). Again: Jesus said, Father, glorify Thy name. There came therefore a voice from heaven, I have both glorified, and will glorify it again (John 12:28).


Lift up, I pray, thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art. That this signifies the state in which the Lord then was, is evident from the signification of "lifting up the eyes and looking," which is to be illuminated and to perceive (as shown above, at verse 10); and from the signification of "place" in the internal sense, as being state. (That "place" is nothing else than state, was shown above, n. 1274, 1376-1379.)


Northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. That this signifies all men, as many as there are in the universe, is evident from the signification of these quarters. In the Word, the "north," "south," "east," and "west," has each its own signification. The "north" signifies those who are out of the church, namely, those who are in darkness as regards the truths of faith; and it also signifies the darkness in man. But the "south" signifies those who are within the church, that is, who are in the light as regards knowledges; and it likewise signifies the light itself. The "east" signifies those who lived previously; and it also signifies celestial love, as before shown. But the "west" signifies those who are to come, and in like manner those who are not in love. The special signification of these words is seen from the connection in the internal sense. But when they are all mentioned, as here, "the north, south, east, and west," they signify all in the whole world who are now living, and also those who have been, and those who are to come; they also signify the states of the human race in regard to love and faith.


Verse 15. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. "For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it," signifies the heavenly kingdom, that it should be the Lord's; "and to thy seed forever," signifies those who should have faith in Him.


For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it. That this signifies the heavenly kingdom, that it should be the Lord's, is evident from the signification of "the land," and here of the land of Canaan-because it is said, "the land which thou seest"-as being the heavenly kingdom. For by the land of Canaan was represented the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, that is heaven, and the Lord's kingdom on earth, or the church; which signification of "land" or "earth" has been several times treated of before. That the kingdom in the heavens and on earth has been given to the Lord, is evident from various passages of the Word. As in Isaiah: Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). In Daniel: I saw in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven; and He came even to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a Kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and languages shall serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (Dan7:13, 14). The Lord Himself also says the same in Matthew: All things are delivered unto Me of My Father (Matt.11:27) also in Luke (10:22). And again in Matthew: All power [potestas] has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). In John: Thou gavest to the Son power [potestas] over all flesh, that whatsoever Thou hast given Him, to them He should give eternal life (Matt. 17:2, 3). The same is also signified by His "sitting at the right hand," as in Luke: Now from henceforth shall the Son of man sit at the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69). [2] As regards all power being given unto the Son of man in the heavens and on earth, it is to be known that the Lord had power over all things in the heavens and on earth before He came into the world; for He was God from eternity and Jehovah, as He plainly says in John: Now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glow which I had with Thee before the world was (John 17:5); and again: Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am 1607-1 (John 8:58); for He was Jehovah and God to the Most Ancient Church that was before the flood, and was seen by them. He was also Jehovah and God to the Ancient Church that was after the flood. And it was He who has represented by all the rites of the Jewish Church, and whom they worshiped. But the reason He says that all power was given unto Him in heaven and on earth, as if it were then His for the first time, is that by "the Son of man" is meant His Human Essence; and this, when united to His Divine Essence, was also Jehovah, and at the same time had power; and this could not be the case until He had been glorified, that is, until by unition with the Divine Essence His Human Essence also had life in itself, and so became in like manner Divine and Jehovah; as He says in John: As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26). [3] It is His Human Essence, or external man, that is likewise called "Son of man" in Daniel, in the passage quoted above; and of which it is said in the passage quoted from Isaiah, "A Child is born and a Son is given to us." That the heavenly kingdom should be given to Him, and all power in the heavens and on earth, He now saw, and it was now promised Him; and this is signified by the words, "all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed after thee forever." This was before His Human Essence had been united to His Divine Essence, which was united when He had overcome the devil and hell, that is, when by His own power and His own might He had expelled all evil, which alone disunites.


And to thy seed forever. That this signifies those who should have faith in Him, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being faith, and indeed the faith of charity (spoken of before, n. 255, 256, 1025). That the heavenly kingdom should be given to His seed, that is, to those who have faith in Him, is clearly evident from the words of the Lord Himself in John: The Father loveth the Son,, and hath given all things into His hand he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life (John 3:35-36). [2] And again: As many as received Him, to them gave He power [potestas] to become the sons of God, to those that believe in His name, who were born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man (John 1:12-13). From these words it is evident what faith, or believing in Him, is, namely, that it is with those who receive Him and believe in Him, not from "the will of the flesh," nor from "the will of man." "The will of the flesh" is what is contrary to love and charity, for this is signified by "flesh" (n. 999); and "the will of man" is what is contrary to the faith that is from love or charity, for this is what is signified by "man." For the will of the flesh and the will of man are what disjoin; but love and the derivative faith are what conjoin; therefore they in whom are love and the derivative faith, are they who are born of God. And because they are born of God, they are called "sons of God," and are His "seed," to whom is given the heavenly kingdom. These things are signified by the following words in this verse: "all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed, forever." [3] That the heavenly kingdom cannot be given to those who are in faith without charity, that is, to those who say that they have faith and yet hold the neighbor in hatred, may be seen by anyone who is willing to reflect; for there can be no life in such faith, when hatred, that is hell, constitutes the life. For hell consists of nothing but hatreds; not of the hatreds which a man has received hereditarily, but of those which he has acquired by actual life.


Verse 16. And I will make thy seed as the just of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. "I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth," signifies multiplication immeasurably; "so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered," signifies asseveration.


I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth. That this signifies multiplication immeasurably, is evident without explication. It is here said that his seed should be made "as the dust of the earth;" in other places in the Word, "as the sand of the sea," and in others, "as the stars of the heavens." Each expression has its own peculiar signification. "The dust of the earth" refers to things that are celestial, for "the earth," as before shown, signifies the celestial of love. "The sand of the sea" refers to things that are spiritual; for "the sea," as has also been shown, signifies the spiritual of love. "As the stars of the heavens" signifies both of these, in a higher degree; and as none of these things can be numbered, it became a customary form of speaking to express by them immeasurable fructification and multiplication. [2] That his seed (that is, the faith of love, or love) should be immeasurably multiplied, in the supreme sense, signifies the Lord, and in fact His Human Essence; for the Lord as to His Human Essence was called "the Seed of the woman" (see n. 256). And when the Lord's Human Essence is signified, by immeasurable multiplication is meant the infinite celestial and spiritual; but when the faith of charity, or charity, in the human race, is signified by "seed," it is meant that this seed in each one who lives in charity is immeasurably multiplied; as also comes to pass in the other life, with everyone who lives in charity. With such a one, charity and the derivative faith, and, together with these, happiness, are multiplied to such a degree, that it can only be described as immeasurable, and beyond words. When by "seed" there is signified the human race, the multiplication of this in the Lord's Kingdom is also immeasurable, not only from those who are within the church and their children, but also from those who are without the church and their children. Hence the kingdom of the Lord, or heaven, is immeasurable. Concerning its immensity, of the Lord's Divine mercy more will be said elsewhere.


Verse 17. Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it. "Arise, walk through the land," signifies that He should survey the heavenly kingdom; "in the length of it, and in the breadth of it," signifies its celestial and its spiritual: "for unto thee will I give it," signifies that it was to be His.


Arise, walk through the land. That this signifies that He should survey the heavenly kingdom, is evident from the signification of "the land," as being the heavenly kingdom (spoken of several times before). To "arise and walk through the land," in the sense of the letter, is to explore and see what it is; in the spiritual sense, therefore, in which by "the land," that is, the land of Canaan, is signified the kingdom of God in the heavens, or heaven, and the kingdom of God on the earth, or the church, it signifies to survey, and also to perceive.


In the length of it and in the breadth of it. That this signifies the celestial and the spiritual, or what is the same, good and truth [may be seen from the signification of "length" and "breadth"]. That "length" signifies good, and "breadth" truth, may be seen explained before (n. 650). The reason is that "the land" signifies the heavenly kingdom, or the church, of which no length and breadth can be predicated, but only those things which are applicable and correspondent, which are goods and truths. The celestial, or good, being primary, is compared to length; and the spiritual or truth, being secondary, is compared to breadth. [2] That "breadth" is truth, appears plainly enough in the prophetic Word. As in Habakkuk: I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and swift nation, that walketh in the breadths of the land (Hab. 1:6); "the Chaldeans" denote those who are in falsity; "to walk in the breadths of the land," denotes to destroy truths, for this is predicated of the Chaldeans. In David: O Jehovah, Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; Thou hast made my feet to stand in a broad place (Ps. 31:8); "to stand in a broad place," denotes in truth. Again: Out of straightness have I called upon Jah; Jah answered me in a broad place (Ps. 118:5); "to answer in a broad place," denotes in the truth. In Hosea: Jehovah will feed them as a lamb, in a broad place (Hos. 4:16); "to feed in a broad place," signifies to teach truth. [3] In Isaiah: Asshur shall go through Judah, he shall overflow and pass through, he shall reach even to the neck, and the stretchings out of his wings shall be the fullness of the breadth of thy land (Isa. 8:8); "Asshur" denotes reasoning, which will overflow the land, or the church; "the wings" denote the reasonings whence falsities arise; "the fullness of the breadth," denotes that it is full of falsities, or things contrary to truth. Because the "length" of a land signifies good, and its "breadth" truth, the New Jerusalem is said to have been measured, and to lie foursquare, and its length to be as great as its breadth (Rev. 21:16), from which everyone can see that the length and the breadth signify nothing else, since the New Jerusalem is nothing else than the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth. From the signification of things in the internal sense, modes of speaking concerning celestial and spiritual things by means of such things as are on earth, as by length and breadth, formerly became familiar; as the terms height and depth are used in common discourse at the present day, when predicated of wisdom.


For unto thee will I give it. That this signifies that it should be His, is evident without explication. That "the land," or the heavenly kingdom, is the Lord's alone, is evident from what has been shown so many times, namely, that no other is the Lord of heaven; and as He is the Lord of heaven, He is the Lord of the church also. It is also evident from the fact that all the celestial and the spiritual, or good and truth, are from the Lord alone, and from these the Lord is the all in all of His heaven, and this so completely that he who has no apperception of good and truth from the Lord, is no longer in heaven. This is the sphere that reigns in the universal heaven; this also is the soul of heaven; and this is the life that inflows into all who are in good.


Verse 18. And Abram pitched his tent, and came and dwelt in the oak-groves of Mamre that are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to Jehovah. "Abram pitched his tent, and came and dwelt in the oak-groves of Mamre that are in Hebron," signifies that the Lord came to a perception still more internal; this is the sixth state; "and there he built an altar to Jehovah," signifies worship from that state.


And Abram pitched his tent, and came and dwelt in the oak-groves of Mamre that are in Hebron. That this signifies that the Lord attained to a perception still more internal, is evident from the signification of "pitching a tent," that is, of moving and fixing a tent, as being to be conjoined,-for a "tent" is the holy of worship (as shown before, n. 414, 1452), by which the external man is conjoined with the internal-and from the signification of an "oak-grove," as being perception, as explained above (n. 1442, 1443), where it was "the oak-grove of Moreh," which is the first perception; but here, "the oak-groves of Mamre," in the plural, which signify more perception, that is, perception more internal. This perception is called "the oak-groves of Mamre that are in Hebron." "Mamre" is also mentioned elsewhere (as in Gen. 14:13; 18:1; 23:17-19; 35:27), and Hebron likewise (as in Gen. 35:27; 37:14; Josh. 10:36, 39; 14:13-15; 15:13, 54; 20:7; 21:11, 13; Judges 1:10, 20; and in other places); but with what signification, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be seen where these passages are explained. [2] As to "the oak-groves of Mamre that are in Hebron" signifying a still more internal perception, the case is as follows. As the things that are of the external man are conjoined with the celestial things of the internal man, so perception increases and becomes more internal. Conjunction with celestial things gives perception; for in the celestial things that are of love to Jehovah is the very life of the internal man; or what is the same, in the celestial things that are of love, that is, in celestial love, Jehovah is present, which presence is not perceived in the external man until conjunction has been effected, all perception being from conjunction. [3] From the internal sense it is here evident how the case was with the Lord, namely, that His external man, or the Human Essence, was conjoined with the Divine Essence by degrees, according to the multiplication and fructification of knowledges. In no way can anyone, as a man, be conjoined with Jehovah or the Lord, except by means of knowledges, for by means of knowledges a man becomes a man; and so the Lord, because born as are other men, was also instructed as they are, but into His knowledges as receptacles celestial things were constantly being insinuated, so that the knowledges continually became the recipient vessels of celestial things, and themselves also became celestial. [4] He continually advanced in this way to the celestial things of infancy for, as before said, the celestial things that are of love are insinuated from the earliest infancy up to childhood, and also to youth, when being a man he is then and afterwards imbued with knowledges [scientiae et cognitiones]. If the man is such that he can be regenerated, these knowledges are then filled with the celestial things that are of love and charity, and are thus implanted in the celestial things with which he has been gifted from infancy up to childhood and youth; and thus his external man is conjoined with his internal man. They are first implanted in the celestial things with which he was gifted in youth, next in those with which he was gifted in childhood, and finally in those with which he was gifted in infancy; and then he is a "little child," of whom the Lord said that "of such is the kingdom of God." This implantation is effected by the Lord alone; and for this reason nothing celestial is possible with man, nor can be, that is not from the Lord, and that is not the Lord's. [5] But the Lord from His own power conjoined His external man with His internal man, and filled His knowledges with celestial things, and implanted them in the celestial things, and this in fact according to Divine order; first in the celestial things of His childhood, next in the celestial things of the age between childhood and infancy; and finally in the celestial things of His infancy; and thus at the same time became, as to the Human Essence,, innocence itself and love itself, from which are all innocence and all love in the heavens and on earth. Such innocence is true infancy, because it is at the same time wisdom. But the innocence of infancy, unless by means of knowledges it becomes the innocence of wisdom, is of no use; and therefore in the other life infants are imbued with knowledges. As the Lord implanted knowledges in celestial things, so had He perception, for, as before said, all perception is from conjunction. He had His first perception when He implanted the memory-knowledges of childhood, which perception is signified by "the oak-grove of Moreh;" and His second, treated of here, which is more internal, when He implanted knowledges, which perception is signified by "the oak-groves of Mamre that are in Hebron."


That this is the sixth state, is evident from the things contained in the preceding chapter.


And there he built an altar to Jehovah. That this signifies worship from that state, is evident from the signification of "an altar," as being a representative of all worship in general (explained before, n. 921). By worship, in the internal sense, is meant all conjunction through love and charity. When a man is in love and charity he is continually in worship, external worship being merely the effect. The angels are in such worship; with them, therefore, there is a perpetual Sabbath; and from this the Sabbath, in the internal sense, signifies the Lord's kingdom. But man, while in the world, ought not to be otherwise than in external worship also; for by external worship internal things are excited, and by means of external worship external things are kept in holiness, so that internal things can flow in. And besides, man is thus imbued with knowledges, and is prepared for receiving celestial things, and is also gifted with states of holiness, although he is unaware of this; which states of holiness are preserved to him by the Lord for the use of eternal life, for in the other life all the states of his life return.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE LIGHT IN WHICH THE ANGELS LIVE: ALSO CONCERNING THEIR PARADISAL SCENES, AND THEIR DWELLINGS. When man's interior sight is opened, which is the sight of his spirit, the things in the other life appear, which cannot possibly be made visible to the sight of the body. The visions of the prophets were nothing else. In heaven, as has been said, there are continual representations of the Lord and His kingdom; and there are things that are significative; and this to such an extent that nothing exists before the sight of the angels that is not representative and significative. Thence come the representatives and significatives in the Word; for the Word is from the Lord through heaven.


The things presented to view in the world of spirits and in heaven are more than can be told. In this place, as the light is treated of, it is proper to tell of the things that are immediately from the light; such as the atmospheres, the paradisal and rainbow scenes, the palaces and dwellings, which are there so bright and living before the outer sight of spirits and angels, and are at the same time perceived so fully by every sense, that they say that these are real, and those in the world comparatively not real.


As regards the atmospheres in which the blessed live, which are of the light because from that light, they are numberless, and are of beauty and pleasantness so great that they cannot be described. There are diamond-like atmospheres, which glitter in all their least parts, as if they were composed of diamond spherules. There are atmospheres resembling the sparkling of all the precious stones. There are atmospheres as of great pearls translucent from their centers, and shining with the brightest colors. There are atmospheres that flame as from gold, also from silver, and also from diamond-like gold and silver. There are atmospheres of flowers of variegated hue that are in forms most minute and scarcely discernible; such, in endless variety, fill the heaven of infants. There are even atmospheres as of sporting infants, in forms most minute, indiscernible, and perceptible only to an inmost idea; from which the infants receive the idea that all the things around them are alive, and are in the Lord's life; which affects their inmosts with happiness. There are other kinds besides, for the varieties are innumerable, and are also unspeakable.


As regards the paradisal scenes, they are amazing. Paradisal gardens are presented to view of immense extent, consisting of trees of every kind, and of beauty and pleasantness so great as to surpass every idea of thought; and these gardens are presented with such life before the external sight that those who are there not only see them, but perceive every particular much more vividly than the sight of the eye perceives such things on earth. That I might not be in doubt respecting this, I was brought to the region where those are who live a paradisal life, and I saw it; it is in front of and a little above the corner of the right eye. Each and all things there appear in their most beautiful springtime and flower, with a magnificence and variety that are amazing; and they are living, each and all, because they are representatives; for there is nothing that does not represent and signify something celestial and spiritual. Thus they not only affect the sight with pleasantness, but also the mind with happiness. [2] Certain souls, newcomers from the world-who from principles received while they lived, doubted the possibility of such things existing in the other life, where there is no wood and stone-being taken up thither and speaking thence with me, said in their amazement that it was beyond words, and that they could in no way represent the unutterableness of what they saw by any idea, and that joys and delights shone forth from every single thing, and this with successive varieties. The souls that are being introduced into heaven are for the most part carried first of all to the paradisal regions. But the angels look upon these things with different eyes; the paradises do not delight them, but the representatives; thus the celestial and spiritual things from which these come. It was from these representatives that the Most Ancient Church had what related to paradise.


As regards the rainbow scenes, there is as it were a rainbow heaven, where the whole atmosphere throughout appears to be made up of minute rainbows. Those who belong to the province of the interior eye are there, at the right in front, a little way up. There the whole atmosphere, or aura, is made up of such flashes of light, irradiated thus, as it were, in all its origins. Around is the encompassing form of an immense rainbow, most beautiful, composed of similar smaller ones that are the beauteous images of the larger. Every color is thus made up of innumerable rays, so that myriads enter into the constitution of one general perceptible ray; and this is as it were a modification of the origins of the light from the celestial and spiritual things that produce it; and which at the same time present before the sight the representative idea. The varieties and varyings of the rainbows are innumerable; some of them I have been permitted to see; and that some idea may be conceived of their variety, and that it may be seen of what innumerable rays one visible ray consists, one or two of the varieties may be described.


I saw the form of a certain large rainbow, in order that from it I might know what they are in their smallest forms. The light was the brightest white, encompassed with a sort of border or circumference, in the center of which there was a dimness as it were terrene, and around this it was intensely lucid, which intense lucidity was varied and intersected by another lucidity with golden points, like little stars; besides variegations induced by means of flowers of variegated hue, that entered into the intense lucidity. The colors of the flowers did not flow forth from a white, but from a flaming light. All these things were representative of things celestial and spiritual. All the colors seen in the other life represent what is celestial and spiritual; colors from flaming light, the things that are of love and of the affection of good; and colors from shining white light, those which are of faith and of the affection of truth. From these origins come all the colors in the other life; and for this reason they are so refulgent that the colors in this world cannot be compared to them. There are also colors that have never been seen in this world.


A rainbow form was also seen in the midst of which there was a green space, as of herbage; and there was perceived the semblance of a sun which was itself unseen, at one side, illuminating it, and pouring in a light of such shining whiteness as cannot be described. At the outer border or circumference, there were the most charming variations of color, on a plane of pearly light. From these and other things it has been shown what are the forms of the rainbows in their minutest parts, and that there are indefinite variations, and this in accordance with the charity, and the derivative faith, of him to whom the representations are made, and who is as a rainbow to those to whom he is presented in his comeliness and in his glory.


Besides these paradisal scenes, cities are also presented to view, with magnificent palaces, contiguous to one another, resplendent in their coloring, beyond all the art of the architect. Nor is this to be wondered at; cities of similar appearance were seen also by the prophets, when their interior sight was opened, and this so clearly that nothing in the world could be more distinct. Thus was the New Jerusalem seen by John, which is also described by him in these words: And he carried me away in the spirit upon a mountain great and high, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem; having a wall great and high, having twelve gates; and the building of the wall thereof was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto golden glass. The foundations of the wall there adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprasus, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst (Rev. 21:10, 12, 18-20). Such things were seen also by the prophets. Similar things, beyond number, are seen by angels and angelic spirits in clear day; and wonderful to say, they are perceived with all fullness of sense. These things cannot be credited by one who has extinguished spiritual ideas by the terms and definitions of human philosophy, and by reasonings; and yet they are most true. That they are true might have been apprehended from the fact that they have been seen so frequently by the saints.


Besides the cities and palaces, I have sometimes been permitted to see their decorations, such as those of the steps and of the gates and these were moving as if alive, and continually changing, with a beauty and symmetry ever new. And I have been informed that the variations may thus succeed each other perpetually, even if it were to be to eternity, with new harmony continually, the succession itself also forming a harmony. And I have been told that these were among the very little things.


All the angels have their own dwellings in the places where they are, and they are magnificent. I have been there, and have sometimes seen and marveled at them, and have there spoken with the angels. They are so distinct and clearly seen that nothing can be more so. In comparison with these, the habitations on earth amount to scarcely anything. They also call those which are on the earth dead, and not real; but their own, living and true, because from the Lord. The architecture is such that the art itself is derived from it, with a variety that knows no limit. They have said that if all the palaces in the whole world should be given them, they would not receive them in exchange for their own. What is made of stone, clay, and wood is to them dead; but what is from the Lord, and from life itself and light itself, is living; and this is the more the case that they enjoy them with all fullness of sense. For the things that are there are perfectly adapted to the senses of spirits and angels; for spirits cannot see at all by their sight the things that are in the light of the solar world; but things of stone and wood are adapted to the senses of men in the body. Spiritual things are in correspondence with those who are spiritual, and corporeal things with those who are corporeal.


The habitations of good spirits and of angelic spirits commonly have porticos or long entrance halls, arched, and sometimes doubled, where they walk. The walls of these are formed with much variety, and are also decorated with flowers and garlands of flowers wonderfully woven together, and with many other ornaments, that are varied and succeed one another, as before said; these they see, now in a clearer light, and now in one less clear, but always with inward delight. Their dwellings are also changed into more beautiful ones, as the spirits who inhabit them are perfected. When they are changed, there appears something representing a window, at one side; this is enlarged, and it becomes darker within; and there opens as it were something of heaven, with stars, also a kind of cloud; which is an indication that their dwellings are to be changed into dwellings still more pleasant.


Spirits are very indignant that men have no conception of the life of spirits and angels, and that they suppose them to be in an obscure state, which cannot but be most sad, and as it were in vacuity and emptiness; when yet they are in the greatest light, and in the enjoyment of all good things as to all the senses, and this with an inmost perception of them. There have also been souls who had lately come from the world, and who had brought with them, from the principles there accepted, the idea that there were no such things in the other life. They were therefore introduced into the homes of angels, and spoke with those who were there, and saw these things. When they returned, they said that they had perceived that it was so, and that the things were real; but that they had not at all believed this in the life of the body, and could not believe it; also that these must of necessity be among those wonderful things that are not believed because they are not comprehended. But as the experience is a thing of sense, but of the interior sense, this also was said to them-that still they are not to doubt because they do not apprehend; for if nothing were believed except that which is apprehended, nothing would be believed respecting the things of interior nature; still less concerning the things that are of eternal life. Hence comes the insanity of our age.


They who had been rich in the life of the body, and had dwelt in magnificent palaces, placing their heaven in such things, and, being destitute of conscience and charity, had despoiled others of their goods under various pretenses, when they come into the other life, are, as before said, first introduced into the very same life that they had in the world. And there also they are sometimes allowed to dwell in palaces, as they had done in the world. For in the other life all are at first received as guests and as newcomers; and as their interiors and ends of life are not yet to be disclosed, angels from the Lord treat them with favor and kindness. But the scene is changed. The palaces are gradually dissipated, and become small houses, more and more mean, and at last none at all. And then they wander about, like those who ask alms, and beg to be received. But because they are of such a character, they are expelled from the societies; and at last they become excrementitious, and exhale a sphere of the stench of teeth.


I have spoken with angels concerning representatives, to the effect that there is nothing in the vegetable kingdom on the earth that does not in some way represent the Lord's kingdom. They said that all the beautiful and graceful things in the vegetable kingdom derive their origin from the Lord through heaven; and that when the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord inflow into nature, such things have actual existence; and that this is the source of the vegetative soul or life. Hence come representatives. And as this is not known in the world, it was called a heavenly secret.


I have likewise been fully informed concerning the nature of the influx into the lives of animals, all of which are dissipated after death; but concerning this subject, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.


CHAPTER 14 CONCERNING THE SPEECH OF SPIRITS AND ANGELS It is known from the Word of the Lord that many persons formerly spoke with spirits and angels, and that they heard and saw many things that are in the other life; but that afterwards heaven was as it were shut, insomuch that at the present day the existence of spirits and angels is scarcely credited, and still less that anyone can speak with them; for men regard it as impossible to speak with the unseen, and with those whose existence they in their hearts deny. But as of the Lord's Divine mercy I have now for some years been permitted to hold converse with spirits and angels almost continually, and to be in companionship with them as one of themselves, I may now relate what it has been given me to learn concerning their speech with one another.


The speech of spirits with me has been heard and perceived as distinctly as the speech of man with man; indeed, when I have spoken with them while I have been in company with men, I observed that just in the same way as I heard the men speaking sonorously, so also did I hear the spirits; insomuch that the spirits sometimes wondered that others did not hear what they said to me; for as regards the hearing there was absolutely no difference. But as the influx into the internal organs of hearing is different from that of speech with men, it could be heard only by myself; to whom of the Lord's Divine mercy these organs have been opened. Human speech passes in through the ear, by an external way, by means of the air; but the speech of spirits does not enter through the ear, nor by means of the air; but by an internal way, into the same organs of the head or brain. Consequently the hearing is the same.


How difficult it is for men to be brought to believe in the existence of spirits and angels, and still more that anyone can speak with them, has been evidenced to me by the following example. There were certain spirits who when they lived in the body had been among the more learned, and had then been known to me (for I have spoken with nearly all with whom I was acquainted during their bodily life, with some for several weeks, with others for a year, exactly as if they had been living in the body). These spirits were once brought into a state of thought similar to that which they had had while they lived in the world: in the other life this is easily done. The inquiry was then suggested, whether they believed that any man can speak with spirits. They then said, in that state, that it was a phantasy to believe any such thing; and this they asserted very persistently. From this it was given to know with how much difficulty a man can be brought to believe that any speaking with spirits is possible to man, for the reason that men do not believe in the existence of spirits, and still less that they are themselves to come among them after death. And at this these same spirits then wondered greatly; and yet they were among the more learned, and had spoken much in public concerning the other life, and concerning heaven and the angels; so that this might have been thought to be most fully known to them as a matter of memory-knowledge, especially from the Word, where it is frequently met with.


Among the wonderful things in the other life is the fact that the speech of spirits with a man is in his native tongue, which they speak as readily and skillfully as if they had been born in the same land, and had been brought up with the same language; and this whether they are from Europe, from Asia, or from any other part of the globe. The case is the same with those who lived thousands of years ago, before the language in question had come into existence. The spirits indeed know no otherwise than that the language in which they speak with a man is their own, and that of their native land. The case is the same with other languages in which the man is skilled; but beyond these languages, the spirits cannot utter a syllable of any language, unless to do this is given them by the Lord immediately. Even little children who had died before they had been taught any language, speak in the same way. [2] But the reason is that the language with which spirits are familiar is not a language of words, but is a language of ideas of thought; and this language is the universal of all languages; and when they are with a man, their ideas of thought fall into the words that are in the man, and this in a manner so correspondent and fitting that the spirits know no otherwise than that the words themselves are theirs, and that they are speaking in their own language; when yet they are speaking in that of the man. I have occasionally spoken with spirits concerning these matters. All souls, as soon as they enter into the other life, are endowed with the gift of being able to understand the speech of all who are in the whole world, precisely as if it were their native tongue, for they perceive whatever a man thinks. They are endowed with other faculties also that are still more excellent. Hence it is that souls, after the death of the body, can converse and associate with all, of whatever region or language they may have been.


The words which they speak, that is, which they call up or bring forth from the man's memory, and suppose to be their own, are well chosen and clear, full of meaning, distinctly pronounced, and applicable to the subject; and, wonderful to say, they know how to choose the words better and more promptly than the man himself; and as has been shown, they are even acquainted with the various significations of the words, and instantly apply them, without any premeditation, for the reason, as before said, that the ideas of their language flow solely into words that are fitting. The case with this is nearly like that of a man who speaks without any thought of the words he is using, being simply in the meaning of the words; then, in accordance with the meaning, his thought falls readily and spontaneously into words; the inner meaning is that which calls forth the words. In such an internal meaning, only one still more subtle and excellent, does the speech of spirits consist; and through this a man communicates with spirits, although he is unaware of it.


The speech of words, as has been said, is the speech proper to man, and in fact to his corporeal memory; but the speech of ideas of thought is the speech of spirits, and in fact of the interior memory, which is the memory of the spirit. Men are not aware that they have this memory, because the memory of particulars, or of material things, which is corporeal, is everything, and obscures the interior memory; when yet without the interior memory, which is proper to his spirit, man cannot think at all. From this memory I have often spoken with spirits, thus in their own language, that is, by ideas of thought. How universal and copious this language is, may be seen from the fact that every word contains an idea of great extension; for it is well known that the single idea of a word may be set forth by many words; and this is still more true of the idea of one whole subject, and still more so of the idea of a number of such subjects, which can be brought together into one compound idea that still appears as simple; from which may be seen what is the quality of the natural speech of spirits among themselves, and by means of which speech man is conjoined with spirits.


I have been enabled to perceive distinctly not only what was said to me by spirits, but also where they were when speaking; whether above the head, or below; whether at the right hand, or at the left; at the ear, or at some other point near or within the body; at what distance, whether greater or less. For they spoke with me from the various places or positions in which they were, according to their position in the Grand Man,, that is, according to their state. [2] I have also been enabled to perceive when they were coming, and when they were going away, and whither, and how far; also whether they were many or few; besides other things; and also from their speech to perceive their quality, for from their speech, in like manner as from their sphere, it is plainly manifest of what genius and of what natural disposition they are; also of what persuasion and what affection; so that if they are deceitful, even if there is no deceit while they are speaking, still the generic and specific character of their deceitfulness is perceived from every word and idea; and so with all other malignities and cupidities; so that there is no need of much exploration, for there is an image of the spirit in every word and idea. [3] It is also perceived whether the idea of their speech is closed, or is open; also what is from themselves, what from others, and what from the Lord. This is much the same as it is with a man's countenance, from which, without a word, it is often known whether there is present dissembling, or deceit, or gladness, or cheerfulness natural or affected, whether there is friendliness from the heart, whether modesty, and also whether there is insanity; sometimes also the same is apparent from the tone of the man's speech. Why then should not this be the case in the other life, where the perception greatly exceeds such apperception? Indeed, before a spirit speaks, it is known from the thought alone what he intends to say; for thought flows in with greater rapidity than speech.


Spirits in the other life converse among themselves as men do on earth; and they who are good, with all familiarity of friendship and love, as I have frequently heard; and this in their own speech, by which they express more in a minute than a man can in an hour. For their speech, as before said, is the universal of all languages, being by means of ideas, the primitives of words. They speak upon subjects with such acuteness and perspicuity, by so many series of reasons following one another in order, and exercising persuasion, that if a man knew of it he would be astounded. They join persuasion and affection to their discourse, and thus give it life. [2] Sometimes also they discourse by means of simultaneous representations before the sight, and thus to the life. As for example: let the discourse be about shame, whether it can exist without reverence: among men this cannot be discussed except by means of many reasonings from evidence and examples, and still it remains in doubt; but with a spirit all would be done within a minute, by means of the states of the affection of shame varied in their order, and by means of those of reverence also; thus by perceiving the agreements and the disagreements, and at the same time beholding them in the representatives adjoined to the speech; from which they forthwith perceive the conclusion, which thus flows of itself from the disagreements thus reduced to agreement. So in all other cases. Souls come into this faculty directly after death; and good spirits then love nothing more than to instruct those who are newly arrived, and the ignorant. [3] The spirits themselves are not aware that they speak with one another with speech of such surpassing excellence, and that they are furnished with an endowment so preeminent, unless it is given them by the Lord to reflect upon it; for this mode of speaking is natural to them, and is then inherent. The case in this respect is the same as it is with a man when he fixes his mind on the meaning of things, and not on the words and the mode of speaking, in that, without reflection, he sometimes does not know what kind of speech he is making use of.


This then is the speech of spirits; but the speech of angelic spirits is still more universal and perfect; and the speech of angels is more universal and perfect still. For there are three heavens, as before said; the first is where good spirits are, the second is where angelic spirits are, and the third is where angels are. The perfections thus ascend, as from exterior things to things more interior. To use a comparison for the sake of illustration, it is almost like hearing relatively to sight, and sight relatively to thought; for what the hearing can receive through speech in an hour, can be presented before the sight in a minute, as, for example, a view of plains, palaces, and cities and all that can be seen by the eye in many hours, can be comprehended by the thought in a minute. In such a ratio does the speech of spirits stand to the speech of angelic spirits, and the speech of angelic spirits to the speech of angels; for angelic spirits distinctly comprehend more in one idea of speech or thought, than spirits by several thousand; and so it is with angels in comparison with angelic spirits. How then must it be with the Lord, from whom is all the life of affection, thought, and speech, and who alone is the Speech, and the Word!


The speech of angelic spirits is beyond comprehension; so that it will be treated of in few words, and only that kind which is called representative. The subject of the discourse is itself presented representatively in a wonderful form, which is withdrawn from the objects of sense, and is varied by means of the most pleasant and beautiful representatives in ways innumerable, with a continual influx of affections from the happy current of mutual love inflowing through the higher heaven from the Lord; from which influx each and all things are as it were alive. Each subject is thus presented, and this through continuous series. Not one single representative in any series can possibly be described to the understanding. These are the things that flow into the ideas of spirits; but to them they are not apparent, except as something general that flows in and affects them, without their having a distinct perception of the things that are distinctly perceived by the angelic spirits.


There are very many evil spirits of an interior kind, who do not speak as spirits do, but are also in the beginnings of ideas, and are thus more subtle than other spirits. There are many such spirits; but they are completely separated from the angelic spirits, and cannot even approach them. These more subtle evil spirits likewise attach their ideas to objects and things in an abstract way, but to such as are filthy; and in them they represent to themselves various things of a filthy nature; and they involve their ideas in such things. They are as it were silly. Their speech was made known to me, and was also represented by the unclean dregs from a vessel; and the intellectual element of their speech was represented by the hinder parts of a horse, whose forward parts did not appear; for in the world of spirits the intellectual is represented by horses. But the speech of angelic spirits was represented by a maiden of graceful carriage, becomingly attired in a robe of white, that was neatly fitted to a kind of vest.


But the speech of angels is ineffable, far above the speech of spirits, for it is above that of angelic spirits, and is not intelligible in any way to man so long as he lives in the body. Nor can the spirits in the world of spirits form any idea of it, for it is above the perceptive power of their thought. This speech of angels is not of things represented by any ideas like those of spirits and angelic spirits; but it is a speech of ends and of the derivative uses, which are the primaries and the essentials of things. Into these are angelic thoughts insinuated, and are varied there with indefinite variety; and in each and all things of that speech there is an inward and happy delight from the good of mutual love from the Lord, and a beautiful and delightful one from the truth of faith from that good. Ends, and the uses from them, are as it were most delicate recipients, and are the delightful subjects of unnumbered variations; and this by means of celestial and spiritual forms that are beyond comprehension. In these they are kept by the Lord, for the Lord's kingdom is simply a kingdom of ends and uses; and for this reason also the angels who are with a man attend to nothing else than the ends and uses, and elaborate nothing else from the man's thought. All other things, which are ideal and material, they care nothing for; because these are far below their sphere.


The speech of angels sometimes appears in the world of spirits, thus before the interior sight, as a vibration of light, or of resplendent flame; and this with variation according to the state of the affections of their speech. It is only the general things of their speech, as regards the states of affection, and which general things originate in numberless distinct things, that are thus represented.


The speech of the celestial angels is distinct from that of the spiritual angels, and is even more ineffable and inexpressible. The celestial and good things of ends are what their thoughts are insinuated into, and they are therefore in happiness itself; and, wonderful to say, their speech is far more abounding, for they are in the very fountains and origins of the life of thought and of speech.


There is a speech of good spirits, and also of angelic spirits, which is a simultaneous speech of many, especially in circles or choirs, concerning which of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. The speech in choirs has often been heard by me; it has a cadence [labens], as if in rhythm. They have no thought about the words or ideas, for into these their sentiments flow spontaneously. No words or ideas flow in which multiply the sense, or draw it away to something else, or to which anything artificial adheres, or that seems to them elegant from self, or from self-love, for such things would at once cause disturbance. They do not inhere in any word; they think of the sense; the words follow spontaneously from the sense itself. They come to a close in unities, for the most part simple; but when in those which are compound, they turn by an accent to the next. These things are the result of their thinking and speaking in society; hence the form of the speech has a cadence in accordance with the connection and unanimity of the society. Such was once the form of songs; and such is that of the Psalms of David.


Wonderful to say, this kind of speech, possessing the rhythmical or harmonic cadence of songs, is natural to spirits. They speak so among themselves, although they are not aware of it. Immediately after death souls come into the habit of speaking in this way. I have been initiated into the same, and it has at last become familiar. The reason their speech is of this nature, is that they speak in society, which for the most part they are not aware of: a very clear proof that they are all distinguished into societies, and that consequently all things fall into the forms of the societies.


A continuation concerning the speech of spirits, and its diversities, will be found at the end of this chapter. GENESIS 14 1. And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 2. That they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and with the king of Bela, this is Zoar. 3. All these were gathered together at the valley of Siddim, this is the Salt Sea. 4. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5. And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shavehkiriathaim; 6. And the Horites in their Mount Seir, even to El-paran which is over in the wilderness. 7. And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, this is Kadesh, and smote all the field of the Amalekites, and also the Amorite that dwelt in Hazazon-tamar. 8. And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, this is Zoar; and they set the battle in array with them in the valley of Siddim; 9. With Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar: four kings with five. 10. And the valley of Siddim was pits, pits of bitumen; and the king of Sodom and of Gomorrah fled, and they fell there, and they that remained fled to the mountain. 11. And they took all the wealth of Sodom, and of Gomorrah, and all their food, and departed. 12. And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, and his substance, and departed; and he was dwelling in Sodom. 13. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; and he was dwelling in the oak-groves of Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol, and the brother of Aner; and these were men of the covenant of Abram. 14. And Abram heard that his brother was made captive; and he hastened his trained men that were born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued unto Dan. 15. And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and smote then, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus. 16. And he brought back all the substance, and also brought back his brother Lot and his substance, and the women also, and the people. 17. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from smiting Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, this is the king's valley. 18. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine, and he was priest to GOD MOST HIGH. 19. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram to GOD MOST HIGH, Possessor of the heavens and the earth. 20. And blessed be GOD MOST HIGH, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. 21. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the soul, and take the substance to thyself. 22. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand to JEHOVAH GOD MOST HIGH, Possessor of the heavens and the earth; 23. That from a thread even to the thong of a shoe, I will not take aught that is thine; lest thou shouldest say, I have enriched Abram. 24. Save only that which the boys have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.


1607-1 The Latin has fui, but elsewhere sum, as in n. 9315.

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