Spiritual background for EXODUS 20    previous  -  next  -  text  -  Exodus  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


AC 8853. Every man has something of his own which he loves above all things. This is called that which rules, or if you will, that which reigns universally with him. This is constantly present in his thought, and also in his will, and makes his veriest life.

AC 8854. As for example, he who loves wealth above all things, whether money or possessions, is continually revolving in his mind how he may procure it; he inmostly rejoices when he acquires it; he inmostly grieves when he loses it; his heart is in it. He who loves himself above all things is mindful of himself in everything, thinks of himself, speaks of himself, acts for the sake of himself; for his life is a life of self.

AC 8855. A man has as the end that which he loves above all things; in each and all things he has regard to this; it is in his will like the hidden current of a river which draws and hears him away, even when he is doing something else, for it is what animates him. It is this which one man searches out in another, and also sees, and according to it either leads him, or acts with him.

AC 8856. When a man is being regenerated, charity is implanted by means of faith, even until it becomes that which rules; and when charity has become this, he has a new life, for it is then continually present in his thought, and continually in his will, nay, in every single thing of them, even when he is meditating about other things, and when he is engaged in business.

AC 8857. The case is the same with love to the Lord. When this love is that which rules, it is present in every single thing of the man‘s life; as for instance with him who loves his king, or his parent, his love toward them shines forth in their presence from every feature of his face, it is heard in every expression of his speech, and is seen in his every gesture. This is meant by having God continually before the eyes, and by loving Him above all things, with all the soul and with all the heart.

AC 8858. A man is wholly such as is the ruling principle of his life; by this he is distinguished from others; according to this is formed his heaven if he is good, and his hell if he is evil; for it is his veriest will, and thus the very being of his life, which cannot be changed after death. From all this it is evident what is the nature of the life of one who is regenerate, and what is the nature of the life of one who is not regenerate.


AC 8947. The spirits from that earth, and likewise the earth itself, appear in front at a considerable distance, in the plane at the lower part of the knees; and when the eye is opened thither, a multitude of spirits from that earth come into view. They are seen on this side of that earth, and to the right.

AC 8948. It has also been given me to speak with them, and thereby to know their quality as compared with others. They are upright, and they are modest. And as they esteem themselves small as compared with others, therefore also in the other life they appear small; for the appearance of everyone in the other life is according to his mind, and according to his life.

AC 8949. In worship they are very humble; for therein they account themselves as nothing. They worship our Lord, and acknowledge Him as the One Only God. For the Lord some times appears to those who are on that earth in an angelic form, and thus as a man; and then the Divine beams forth from the face and affects their mind. Moreover when the in habitants become of age, they speak with spirits, by whom they are instructed concerning the Lord, and how He is to be worshiped, also how they ought to live.

AC 8950. When any wish to lead astray the spirits of that earth, and draw them away from faith in the Lord, or from humility toward Him, and from uprightness of life, they say that they wish to die. Then little knives are seen in their hands, by which they seem to wish to pierce their breasts. When they are asked why they do so, they say that they would rather die than be led away from the Lord. Sometimes the spirits of our earth laugh at these things, and infest them with questionings why they do so. But they answer that they know very well that they are not going to kill themselves, and that this is only an appearance proceeding from the will of their mind, showing that they would rather die than be drawn away from the worship of the Lord.

AC 8951. There are some also on that earth who call their light at night, which is great, the Lord; but these are separated from the rest, and are not tolerated among them. This nocturnal light is shed from the great belt which encompasses that earth at a distance, and from the moons which are called the satellites of Saturn.

AC 8952. They were asked about that great belt, which appears from our earth to be elevated above the horizon of that planet, and to vary its positions. They said that it does not appear to them as a belt, but only as a snowy light in the heavens in various directions.

AC 8953. The inhabitants and spirits of that earth bear relation to that in man which is in the middle between spiritual sense and natural sense; but they withdraw from the natural and draw near to the spiritual. Therefore it is that these spirits often seem to themselves to be carried away, or caught up, into heaven, and afterward to be let back, thus alternately. For whatever is of spiritual sense is in heaven; but whatever is of natural sense is beneath heaven.

AC 8954. There are no cities there, nor kingdoms, but they live distinguished into families, each family apart from others, thus man and wife together with their children. When the children marry, they are separated from the house of their parents, and have no more concern about it. Wherefore the spirits from that earth are seen two and two.

AC 8955. All on that earth, otherwise than on ours, know that they shall live after death; and therefore they make no account of their bodies, except in so far as may be necessary for the life, which they say is to remain and serve the Lord. For this reason also they do not bury the bodies of the dead, but cast them forth and cover them with branches of trees from the forest.

AC 8956. They have also little solicitude about food and clothing. They live on fruits and vegetables of various kinds which their earth produces. And they are but scantily clothed, for they are encompassed with a thick skin or coat which wards off the cold.

AC 8957. A continuation about the spirits and inhabitants of the earth Saturn will be found at the end of the following chapter.

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