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THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 8958. They who are being regenerated undergo Temptations.
AC 8959. Temptations are spiritual combats in man. For they are combats between the evil that is in him from hell, and the good that is in him from the Lord.
AC 8960. Temptation is induced by evil spirits who dwell with man in his evils and falsities; these spirits excite his evils, and accuse him. But angels from the Lord, who dwell in his goods and truths, call forth the truths of faith which are with him, and defend him.
AC 8961. That which is dealt with in Temptations relates to the dominion of the evil that is with the man from hell, and of the good that is with him from the Lord. The evil that wishes to have dominion is in the natural or external man, but the good is in the spiritual or internal man; hence it is that in Temptations that which is dealt with also relates to the dominion of the one over the other; if evil conquers, the natural man has dominion over the spiritual; if good conquers, the spiritual man has dominion over the natural.
AC 8962. These combats are carried on by means of truths of faith which are from the Word. The man must fight against evils and falsities from these; if he fights from anything else, he does not conquer, because the Lord is not in anything else.
AC 8963. As the combat is carried on by means of truths of faith which are from the Word, the man is not admitted into combat until he is in the knowledges of truth and of good, and has obtained therefrom some spiritual life; and therefore these combats do not arise with man until he has come to years of maturity.
AC 8964. He who has not with him truths of faith from the Word by which he may fight, thus who has not any spiritual life in himself from these, is not admitted into any combat, because he yields; and if a man yields, his state after Temptation becomes worse than his state before Temptation, for evil has then acquired to itself power over good, and falsity over truth.
AC 8965. As at this day faith is rare, for the church is at its end, therefore at this day few undergo any spiritual Temptations. Hence it is that it is scarcely known what they are, and to what they conduce.
AC 8966. Temptations conduce to the confirmation of the truths of faith, also to the implantation of them, and the insinuation of them into the will, that they may become goods of charity. For, as before said, man fights from the truths of faith against evils and falsities; and because his mind is then in truths, when he conquers he confirms himself in them and implants them; and also accounts as an enemy, and rejects from himself, the evils and falsities which have assailed him. Moreover through Temptations the concupiscences which are of the loves of self and of the world are subdued, and the man becomes humble. Thus he is rendered fit to receive the life of heaven from the Lord, which life is the new life, such as belongs to the regenerated man.
AC 8967. As through temptations the truths of faith are confirmed, and the goods of charity implanted, and also the concupiscences of evil are subdued, it follows that through Temptations the spiritual or internal man acquires dominion over the natural or external man, thus the good which is of charity and faith over the evil which is of the love of self and of the world. When this is effected, the man has enlightenment, and perception of what is true and what is good, and also of what is evil and false; and consequently he has intelligence and wisdom, which afterward increase day by day.
AC 8968. When a man is being introduced through the truths of faith to the good of charity, he undergoes Temptations; but when he is in the good of charity, Temptations cease, for he is then in heaven.
AC 8969. In Temptations man ought to fight against evils and falsities as from himself, but still believe that he does so from the Lord. If during the Temptation itself he does not believe this, because he is then in obscurity, still he should believe it after the Temptation. If after Temptation the man does not believe that the Lord alone has fought for him and conquered for him, he has undergone only external Temptation, which Temptation does not penetrate deeply, nor cause anything of faith and of charity to take root.
CONTINUATION ABOUT THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF THE PLANET SATURN
AC 9104. Some of the spirits of this earth passed over to the spirits of the earth Saturn, who as already said are afar off at a vast distance, for they appear at the end of our solar world. The passage is effected in a moment, for distances in the other life are appearances arising from diversity of the states of life (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 3404, 4321, 4882, 5605, 7381); and conjunction is effected by a state of desire to speak with another. From this it is that in the other life those meet together, when they so desire, who have been in some conjunction in the world, either by love, or by friendship, or by high regard; but they are afterward separated according to the unlikenesses of their state of life.
AC 9105. After the spirits of the earth Saturn had spoken with the spirits of our earth, they spoke with me through intermediate spirits from where they were, and said that they wondered that spirits from this earth so often come to them and ask them what God they worship. Whenever they observe that the spirits of this earth make such inquiries, they answer that they are insane; for there cannot be a greater insanity than to ask what God anyone worships, seeing that there is only one God for all in the universe; and they said that they are still more insane in this, that they do not know that the Lord is the Only God, and that He rules the universal heaven, and consequently the universal world; for He who rules heaven rules the world also, because the world is ruled through heaven.
AC 9106. They said further that another kind of spirits who go in troops, frequently come to them, desiring to know how things are with them, and that by various methods they draw out of them what they know. Concerning these they said that they are not insane, except in the fact that they have so great a desire to know, for no other use than to know. They were afterward instructed that these spirits are from the planet Mercury, and that knowledge and the derivative intelligence alone delight them, and not so much uses resulting from these, unless indeed knowledge is to them use (n. 6811, 6815, 6921-6932, 7069-7079, 7170-7177).
AC 9107. In what respects the spirits of our earth and the spirits of the earth Saturn differ, has been given me to know from open experience; and at the same time to know how the spiritual or internal man and the natural or external man fight and clash with each other, when the latter is not in faith and charity. For the spirits of the earth Saturn bear relation in the Grand Man to that sense which is intermediate between spiritual and natural sense, but receding from the natural and acceding to the spiritual (n. 8953); whereas the spirits of our earth bear relation to natural and bodily sense; consequently the latter bear relation to the external man, but the spirits of Saturn to the internal man. How great an opposition and clashing there is between them, when the external or natural man does not receive spiritual life through faith in and love to the Lord, was shown by the following experience.
AC 9108. The spirits of the earth Saturn came into view from afar, and there were then present many spirits from our earth, who on seeing those from Saturn became as if insane, and began to infest them by infusing things unworthy respecting faith, and also about the Lord. And while they were full of invectives, they also threw themselves into the midst of them, and from the insanity in which they were, endeavored to injure them. But the spirits of Saturn feared nothing, because they were safe, and were also in tranquillity; whereas those from our earth, being in the midst of them, began to breathe with difficulty, and consequently to be in anguish; and so they cast themselves out, one this way, and another that, and disappeared.
AC 9109. Those standing by perceived from this what is the quality of the external or natural man separated from the internal, when he comes into a spiritual sphere, which is the sphere of life of the internal man; namely, that he is insane, for there encompasses everyone a sphere which flows forth from the life of his love, (n. 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504-1512, 4464, 5179, 6206, 7454). The reason is that the natural man when separated from the spiritual has wisdom only from the world, and not at all from heaven; and he who is wise only from the world, believes nothing but what the senses apprehend, and what he believes, he believes from the fallacies of the senses, consequently from falsities. From this it is that spiritual things are not anything to him, insomuch that he scarcely endures to hear mention made of the spiritual. From this also it is that he does not apprehend what the internal man is, and consequently does not believe that there is an internal man. Wherefore such are insane when kept in a spiritual sphere. It is otherwise while they are living in the world. They then either think naturally about spiritual things; or turn away the ear, that is, hear and do not attend. That such have pain and blindness when they are taken up into a spiritual sphere, (n. 8797).
AC 9110. From the above experience it was also made evident that the natural man cannot introduce himself into the spiritual, that is, ascend. But when a man is in faith and consequently in spiritual life, and is thinking, then the spiritual man descends, that is, thinks in the natural. For there is spiritual influx, that is, influx from the spiritual world into the natural, but not the reverse. That physical influx is quite contrary to order, and contrary to nature, thus is impossible, (n. 3721, 5119, 5259, 5779, 6322, 8237). Wherefore when the natural man that has been separated from the internal, comes into the sphere of spiritual life, he is seized first with blindness, then with insanity, and finally with anguish. It is also for this reason that those who are in hell have no inclination to look toward heaven (n. 4225, 4226, 8137, 8265, 8945, 8946).
AC 9111. At the end of the following chapter an account will be given of the spirits of the moon; and also why the Lord willed to be born on our earth, and not on some other. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page