Spiritual background for EXODUS 15previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 8252. With the man of the church there must be the life of piety, and there must be the life of charity: they must be joined together. The life of piety without the life of charity is profitable for nothing; but the former together with the latter is profitable for all things.
AC 8253. The life of piety is to think piously and to speak piously, to devote one‘s self much to prayers, to behave humbly at such times, to frequent places of worship, and while there to listen devoutly to the preachings, to engage in the sacrament of the Supper frequently every year, and in like manner in all other things of worship, according to the ordinances of the church. But the life of charity is to wish well and to do well to the neighbor, to act from what is just and fair, and from what is good and true, in every work, in like manner in everything we do; in a word, the life of charity consists in performing uses.
AC 8254. The veriest worship of the Lord consists in the life of charity, but not in the life of piety without this. The life of piety without the life of charity is to wish to have regard for one’s self alone, not for the neighbor; but the life of piety with the life of charity is to wish to have regard for one‘s self for the sake of the neighbor. The former life is from love toward self, but the latter is from love toward the neighbor.
AC 8255. That to do what is good is to worship the Lord, is evident from the Lord’s words in Matthew: "Everyone who heareth My words, and doeth them, I will compare to a prudent man; but everyone that heareth My words, and doeth them not, shall be compared to a foolish man" (Matt. 7:24, 26).
AC 8256. Moreover a man is such as is the life of his charity; but not such as is the life of his piety without this. Consequently, the life of charity remains with the man to eternity; but not the life of piety, except in so far as the latter is in agreement with the former. That the life of charity remains with the man to eternity, is also evident from the Lord‘s words in these passages:--
The Son of man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He will render to everyone according to his deeds (Matt. 16:27).
They shall go forth; they who have done goods, into the resurrection of life; but they who have done evils, into the resurrection of judgment (John 5:29);
and also from what is said in (Matt. 25:31-46).
AC 8257. By the life through which the Lord is chiefly worshiped, is meant a life according to His injunctions in the Word, for by these man is acquainted with what faith is and what charity is: this life is the Christian life, and is called spiritual life. But a life according to the laws of what is just and honorable, without that life, is a civil and a moral life: this life makes a man to be a citizen of the world; but the other to be a citizen of heaven.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH JUPITER
AC 8371. I have been further informed by the spirits who are from that earth about various things that concern its inhabitants, such as their walk, their food, their homes, and the like. As regards their walk, they do not walk erect like the inhabitants of this and of many other earths, nor do they creep in the manner of animals, but when they are walking they assist themselves with the palms of their hands, and alternately half raise themselves on their feet, and also at every third step turn the face to the side and behind them, and also at the same time bend the body a little, which is done rapidly. For among them it is unbecoming to be looked at by others except in the face.
AC 8372. When they are walking in this way they always keep the face forward, and thus look before them; and never downward, or to the earth. To look downward they call damnable. Only the lowest among them do this, who, unless they accustom themselves to look forward, are banished from society.
AC 8373. But when they sit, they appear like the men of our earth, erect as to the upper part of the body; but they sit with their feet crossed. They are extremely careful, not only when they walk, but also when they sit, not to be looked at behind, but in the face. Moreover they are very willing for their faces to be seen, because from this appears their mind; for they never show a face at variance with their mind; this being impossible. From this also those who are present know clearly what mind they have toward them, which they do not hide; and especially whether a seeming friendship is sincere, or pretended.
AC 8374. These things have been shown me by their spirits, and have been confirmed by their angels. Consequently also their spirits are not seen walking erect like others; but almost like persons swimming in water, helping themselves forward with their hands, and by turns looking around them.
AC 8375. They who live in their warm zones go naked, but with a covering round the loins; nor are they ashamed of their nakedness, for their minds are chaste; and they love none except their consorts, and abhor adulteries. They were very much surprised that when the spirits of our earth saw them walking in this way, and likewise naked, they ridiculed them, and also had lascivious thoughts; and that they paid no attention whatever to their celestial life; but only to such things. They said that this is a sign that they care more for bodily and earthly things than for heavenly ones; and that indecencies possess their minds. They were told that nakedness does not cause either shame or scandal to those who live in chastity, and in a state of innocence; but only to those who live in lasciviousness and shamelessness.
AC 8376. When the inhabitants of that earth are lying in bed, they turn their face forward, or into the chamber; but not backward, or to the wall. Their spirits told me this, and stated the reason: that they believe that in this way they turn their face to the Lord, but if backward, that they would turn it away. A similar thing had sometimes happened to me, when I was in bed, but I had not previously known the source of it.
AC 8377. They take delight in prolonged eating, not so much for the enjoyment of the food, as for that of conversation at that time. When they sit at table, they do not sit upon chairs or benches, nor upon raised couches of grass, nor upon the grassy turf; but upon the leaves of a certain tree. They were not willing to tell of what tree the leaves were, but when I mentioned several by guess, and at last mentioned the leaves of the fig-tree, they assented.
AC 8378. They said moreover that they do not prepare their food with reference to the taste, but chiefly with reference to use; adding that the food which is useful is to them savory. There was a discourse among the spirits on this subject, and it was said that this is advantageous for man, because in this way he has at heart a sound mind in a sound body; otherwise than with those with whom the taste rules, for then the body sickens, at the least is inwardly languid, and consequently also the mind, because this behaves according to the state of the recipient parts that belong to the body, just as the sight is according to the state of the eye. Hence the insanity of placing all the delight of life, and what they call the summum bonum, in luxury and pleasure. From this also comes corpulence in matters of thought and judgment; and quickness in the things of the body and the world. This results in the man having a likeness to a brute animal, with which also such persons do not unsuitably compare themselves.
AC 8379. Their dwellings were also shown me. They are low, and of wood; but within they are lined with bark or rind of a pale azure, and around and above dotted as with little stars, in the image of the sky; for they desire to give to the interior of their houses the likeness of the visible sky with its stars. The reason is that they believe the abodes of the angels to be there. Besides this, they have tents, which are rounded at the top, and stretched out long, also dotted within with little stars on an azure ground. Into these they betake themselves in the daytime, to prevent their faces from being injured by the heat of the sun, for they take very great care of the face, because they do not consider it to be the body. They bestow great care in forming and cleaning these tents; and they also have their meals in them.
AC 8380. They care little about worldly things, for the families live together, nor do they seek for more than to be fed and housed. What is beyond these, not being for the necessaries of life, they do not class among the utilities. Their greatest care is the education of their little children, whom they love most tenderly.
AC 8381. When the spirits of Jupiter saw the horses of this earth, these horses appeared to me smaller than usual, although they were quite stout and high. This was from the idea of the spirits of that earth about their own horses. They said that they also have similar horses, but much larger, and that they are wild, or in the forests; and that when they are seen, they terrify them, although they are harmless. They added that a fear of horses is innate, or natural to them. This led to reflection on the cause of this fear. For in the spiritual world a horse represents the understanding formed from memory-knowledges (n. 2760-2762, 6534); and as they fear to cultivate the understanding by means of the sciences, it causes an influx of fear. That they do not care for the memory-knowledges that pertain to human erudition, will be seen in what follows.
AC 8382. The spirits of Jupiter sometimes had emissaries or Subjects with me, for the sake of communication, and this for a rather long time. From this it was given me to know their native quality, and that they are wholly different from the spirits of our earth. When they were with me, they were often infested by the spirits of our earth, but they did not care about it. They merely told it to the society of their spirits by whom they had been sent out; and while they were telling it, they withdrew a little from me.
AC 8383. Once also it was permitted evil spirits of our earth to act by their evil arts, and to infest the spirits of Jupiter who were with me. The latter endured them for a considerable time, but finally confessed that they could do so no longer; and that they believed that there could not possibly be worse spirits, for they perverted their imagination and also their thought in such a manner that they seemed to themselves to be as it were bound, and not to be extricated from this except by Divine aid. While I was reading in the Word something concerning our Saviour’s Passion, certain European spirits injected direful objections, with intent to mislead the spirits of Jupiter. Inquiry was made who these spirits were, and what they had been in the world, and it was found that some of them had been preachers, not unlike those who call themselves of the Society of the Lord, or Jesuits, and that then by preaching about the Lord‘s Passion they could move the common people to tears. The cause was told them, namely, that in the world they thought in one way and spoke in another; thus that they entertained one opinion in their hearts, and expressed another with their mouth; but that now they are not allowed to speak in this fraudulent manner, for when they become spirits they are compelled to speak exactly as they think. The spirits of Jupiter were utterly astounded that there could be with man such variance of the interiors and exteriors, namely that he can speak in one way, and think in a wholly different way, which to them is impossible.
AC 8384. The spirits of Jupiter have a sweet approach, and a prudent discourse. They ponder what they say. They derive this from their life in the world; for there, if they do or say anything contrary to order, they are reduced by others in various ways to repentance; and those who are stubborn, by chastisement.
AC 8385. They observed in my thoughts a desire to publish these things in our earth. This they did not wish, because they are forbidden to publish what is said to them by their spirits. They wondered that such things could be published merely by means of writings; but they were then informed about printing, and also about the Word, and likewise about the teachings of the church in our earth; and they were told that the Word and the teachings so stand forth in a published form, and in this way are learned.
AC 8386. A continuation concerning the spirits and inhabitants of the earth Jupiter will be found at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page