Spiritual background for EXODUS 12    previous  -  next  -  text  -  Exodus  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


AC 7814. Man has been so created that he can look upward, or above himself; and can also look downward, or below himself. To look above himself is to look to his neighbor, to his country, to the church, to heaven, especially to the Lord; but to look below himself is to look to the earth, to the world, and especially to himself.

AC 7815. That to look to his neighbor, to his country, and to the church, is to look above himself, is because this is to look to the Lord; for the Lord is in charity, and it is of charity to look to the neighbor, to one‘s country, and to the church, that is, to will well to them. But they look below themselves who turn themselves away from these, and will well only to themselves.

AC 7816. To look above one’s self is to be uplifted by the Lord; for no one can look above himself, unless he is uplifted by Him who is above. But to look below himself is of man, because then he does not suffer himself to be uplifted.

AC 7817. They who are in the good of charity and of faith look above themselves, because they are uplifted by the Lord; but they who are not in the good of charity and of faith look below themselves, because they are not uplifted by the Lord. Man looks below himself when he turns the influx of truth and good from the Lord to himself. He who turns to himself the good and truth flowing in from the Lord, sees himself and the world before him, and does not see the Lord with His good and truth, because they are behind him, and therefore come into such obscurity to him that he cares nothing for them, and at last he denies them.

AC 7818. By looking above self and below self, is meant to have as the end, or to love above all things. Thus by looking above self is meant to have as the end, or to love above all things, what is of the Lord and heaven; and by looking below self is meant to have as the end, or to love above all things, what is of self and the world. The interiors of man also actually turn themselves to where the love turns itself.

AC 7819. The man who is in the good of charity and faith loves also himself and the world, but no otherwise than as the means to an end are loved. The love of self with him looks to the love of the Lord, for he loves himself as a means to the end that he may serve the Lord; and the love of the world with him looks to the love of the neighbor, for he loves the world as a means for the sake of the end that he may be of service to the neighbor. When therefore the means is loved for the sake of the end, it is not the means that is loved, but the end.

AC 7820. From this it can be seen that they who are in worldly glory, that is, in eminence and opulence above others, can look above themselves to the Lord equally as can those who are not in eminence and opulence; for they look above themselves when they regard eminence and opulence as means, and not as the end.

AC 7821. To look above self is proper to man, but to look below self is proper to beasts. From this it follows that in so far as a man looks below himself or downward, so far he is a beast, and also so far is an image of hell; and that in so far as he looks above himself or upward, so far he is a man, and also so far is an image of the Lord.


AC 8021. One of those spirits of Jupiter who strike terror by their coming, as already described, applied himself to my left side beneath the elbow, and spoke from there; but his speech was harsh, nor were the words quite discrete and separate from one another, insomuch that I was obliged to wait long before I could gather the sense; and while he was speaking he also interjected something of terror. He said that so it is done on their earth, and that they are sent in advance to a man, before their angels come to him, and in this manner they prepare him. He admonished me also to receive them well when they came. But it was given me to answer that this is not my affair; but that with me all are received just as they themselves are.

AC 8022. Afterward the angels of that earth came, and it was given me to perceive from their speech with me that they are utterly different from the angels of our earth; for their speech was not effected by means of words, but by means of ideas which diffused themselves through my interiors on all sides, and from there had also an influx into the face, so that the face concurred to every particular; beginning from the lips, and proceeding toward the circumference on all sides. The ideas which were in the stead of words were discrete, but in a slight degree. They said that so do they speak with their own people on their earth; and that there also the speech is of the face, beginning from the lips.

AC 8023. Afterward they spoke with me by means of ideas still less discrete, insomuch that scarcely any interval was perceivable; it was in my perception like the meaning of words with those who attend only to the meaning abstractedly from the words. This speech was more intelligible to me than the former, and was also more full. It flowed into the face in like manner as the former, but the influx was more continuous, in accordance with the nature of the speech. It did not however begin from the lips, like the former, but from the eyes. They said that so also do they speak with their own people on their earth; but with those there who enjoy a more interior sense and discernment than the rest.

AC 8024. Afterward they spoke in a manner still more continuous and full; and then the face could not concur by a suitable movement; but there was felt an influx into the brain, and this was then acted upon in a similar manner.

AC 8025. Lastly they spoke in such a way that their discourse fell only into the interior understanding; its fluency was like that of a thin aura. I perceived the influx itself, but not distinctly the particulars. They said that there are men of their earth also with whom they speak in this manner, and that they are those who after death are immediately carried up into heaven.

AC 8026. These kinds of speech are circumstanced like fluids: the first kind is like fluent water; the second is like water more attenuated; the third is relatively like the atmosphere; and the fourth is like a thin aura.

AC 8027. The spirit above mentioned, who was on the left side, sometimes interrupted the conversation, admonishing me especially to deal discreetly with his angels; for there were spirits from our earth who occasioned such things as excited displeasure. He also said that he did not understand what the angels spake; but that he did afterward when he removed to my left ear. His speech then was not harsh as before, but like that of other spirits.

AC 8028. From this it could be seen how the case is with the order in heaven, and from this in the world; namely that when angels are about to come, a spirit is sent before to prepare the way, and that he excites fear, and gives admonition to receive the angels courteously; and that he interrupts; also that at first he does not understand what the angels speak, but afterward when he has been reduced to a better state he understands; in a word, that he is continually at hand, and prepares the lower mind, and endeavors to avert things unworthy. In regard to this there occurred to me a thought about John the Baptist, that it was according to the order of heaven for him to be sent before and announce the coming of the Lord, and that he should prepare the way that He might be worthily received, according to what is written in (Matt. 3:3; Luke 1:17; 3:4; John 1:23).

AC 8029. From what has already been occasionally related about the state of man after death, it is evident that there are few who at once enter heaven when they come into the other life; but that they stay for some time beneath heaven, in order that the things belonging to earthly and bodily loves, which they have brought with them from the world, may be removed, and they may thus be prepared to be capable of being in society with the angels. The case is similar with the men of all the earths, namely, that after their decease they are at first beneath heaven among spirits; and afterward, when they are prepared, they become angels. When the spirits of that earth were becoming angels it was given me to see that there appeared bright horses as of fire, by which they were carried up, like Elijah. Bright horses as of fire signify an enlightened understanding; that "horses" in the Word signify what is of the understanding, see (n. 2760-2762, 3217, 5321, 6125, 6534); and the "horses of fire and chariots of fire" which carried away Elijah, signify the understanding of the Word as to its interiors (n. 2762).

AC 8030. This angelic heaven to which they are carried away is the first heaven, or the last of the three. This heaven appears to the right from their earth, and is quite separate from the first or lowest heaven of the angels who are from our earth. They who are in this heaven appear clothed in azure dotted with little golden stars; for they believe this color to be the veriest heavenly color. When they are in the world, and contemplate the starry heaven, they call it the abode of the angels; and for this reason the azure color is loved by them.

AC 8031. The spirits of that earth are utterly unwilling to be in fellowship with the spirits of our earth, because they differ in disposition and manners; for they say that the spirits of our earth are cunning, and are ingenious in plotting evils, and that they know and think little about what is good; also that they do not, as they do, acknowledge the one only Lord. Moreover the spirits of the earth Jupiter are much wiser than the spirits of our earth, of whom they also say that they speak much and think little, and thus that they cannot interiorly perceive many things, and not even what good is. From this they conclude that the men of our earth are external men.

AC 8032. The subject of the spirits and inhabitants of the planet Jupiter will be continued at the end of the following chapter.

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