Spiritual background for EXODUS 36    previous  -  next  -  text  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


AC 10740. That which anyone does from love remains inscribed on his heart, for love is the fire of life, thus is the life of everyone. Consequently such as is the love, such is the life; and such as is the life, thus such as is the love, such is the whole man as to soul and as to body.

AC 10741. As love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor make the life of heaven with man, so when they reign do the love of self and the love of the world make the life of hell with him, for these loves are opposite to the former; and therefore those with whom the loves of self and of the world reign, man receive nothing from heaven; but all that they receive is from hell. For whatever a man thinks, and whatever he wills; or whatever a man believes, and whatever be loves, is either from heaven or from hell.

AC 10742. From this it is that those in whom the love of self and the love of the world make the life, desire what is good for themselves alone, and not for others except for the sake of themselves. And as their life is from hell, they despise others in comparison with themselves, they are angry with others if they do not favor them, they hold them in hatred, they burn with revenge against them, and even desire to vent their rage upon them. At last these things become the delights of their life, thus their loves.

AC 10743. These are they who have hell in them, and who after death come into hell, because their life is in agreement with the life of those who are in hell; for all there are of this character; and everyone comes to his own people.

AC 10744. As these persons receive nothing from heaven, in their hearts they deny God and the life after death, and consequently hold in contempt all things of the church. It avails not that they do good to their fellow-citizen, to society, to their country, and to the church; or that they speak well about these; because they do all this for the sake of themselves and the world, in order to save appearances, and to secure reputation, honors, and gains. These are the external bonds by which such persons are brought to do what is good, and are withheld from doing what is evil. As for internal bonds, which are those of conscience, and which dictate that what is evil must not be done because it is sin, and is contrary to the Divine laws, they have none.

AC 10745. And therefore when these persons come into the other life, which takes place immediately after death, and external things are taken away from them, they rush headlong into every wickedness in accordance with their interiors, such as contempt of others in comparison with themselves, enmity, hatred, revenge, rage, cruelty, and also into hypocrisy, fraud, deceit, and many other kinds of wickedness. These are then the delights of their life; and therefore they are separated from the good, and cast into hell.

AC 10746. In the world many such persons are not aware that these thing are the delight of their life, because these things hide themselves in the loves of self and of the world; and at that time such persons call all things goods that favor these loves; and all things that confirm them they call truths. Neither do they know and acknowledge any other goods and truths, because they receive nothing from heaven, which they have closed against themselves.

AC 10747. As love is the fire of life, and everyone‘s life is in accordance with his love, it may from this be known what heavenly fire is, and what infernal fire. Heavenly fire is love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor, and infernal fire is the love of self and the love of the world, and the consequent concupiscence of all evils, which spring from these loves as from their fountains.

AC 10748. The nature of the life with those who are in hell can be inferred from what it would be among such persons in the world if external bonds were taken away, and there were no internal bonds to restrain them.

AC 10749. The life of man cannot be changed after death. It then remains such as it had been. Nor can the life of hell be transferred into the life of heaven, because they are opposites. From this it is evident that those who come into hell remain there forever; and that those who come into heaven remain are forever.


AC 10751. It was afterward granted me to speak with these spirits about their own earth, for all spirits know about this when their natural or external memory is opened by the Lord, because they bring this memory with them from the world; but it is not opened except with the Lord’s good pleasure. With regard to the earth from which they were, the spirits then said that when leave is granted they appear to the inhabitants of their earth and speak with them as men, and that this is effected by their being let into their natural or external memory, and consequently into thought such as they had when they lived in the world; and that at the same time the interior sight of the inhabitants, that is, the sight of their spirit, is opened, and in this way the spirits appear to them. They added that the inhabitants know not but that they are men of their earth, and only notice that this is not the case when the spirits are suddenly taken away from their eyes. I told them that in ancient times it was the same on our earth, as with Abraham, Sarah, Lot, the inhabitants of Sodom, Manoah and his wife, Joshua, Mary, Elizabeth, and the prophets in general; and that the Lord appeared in the same way, and that until He revealed Himself those who saw Him knew not but that He was a man of the earth; but that now this rarely happens, lest such things should compel men to believe; for a compulsory faith, such as enters by means of miracles, does not cleave to the man, and also might be an injury to those with whom faith could be implanted through the Word in a state that is not compulsory.

AC 10752. The preacher who was with me did not at all believe that there are other earths besides our own, for the reason that in the world he had thought that the Lord was born on this earth only, and that without the Lord there is no salvation. He was therefore reduced into a state similar to that of these spirits when they appear in their own earth as men, and in this state he was let into that earth, so that he not only saw it but also spoke with the inhabitants there. When this was done, communication was given me also in the same way, so that I too saw the inhabitants, and also some things upon that earth. Spirits and angels can speak with men of any language; because their thought falls into the ideas of the men, and thus into the words of their speech.

AC 10753. There then appeared four kinds of men, one kind after another in succession. First, clothed men were seen; then naked men of a human flesh color; afterward naked men who had inflamed bodies; and finally black men.

AC 10754. While the preacher was with those who were clothed, there appeared a woman of a very beautiful countenance, clothed in a simple garment, a tunic that hung behind in a becoming way, and was also drawn over the arms; she also wore a beautiful head covering in the form of a garland of flowers. Upon seeing this virgin, the preacher was very much delighted, and spoke to her, and also took hold of her hand; but as she perceived that he was a spirit, and was not from that earth, she betook herself away from him. There afterward appeared to him a number of other women on the right, who were pasturing sheep and lambs, which they were then leading to a drinking-trough, into which water was brought through a little channel from a lake. These were clothed in the same way, and they held in their hands shepherds‘ crooks, by which they led the sheep and lambs to drink. They said that the sheep go in the direction in which they point with their crooks. The sheep that were seen were large, and had woolly, broad, and lengthy tails. When the faces of the women were seen more closely, they were full and beautiful. Men also were seen. Their faces were of a human flesh color, as on our earth; but with the difference that instead of being bearded, the lower part of their face was black; and the nose was more of the color of snow than of flesh.

AC 10755. Afterward the preacher was conducted further, but reluctantly, because he was still thinking of the woman with whom he was charmed, as was evident from there still appearing a kind of shadow of him in the former place. He then came to those who were naked, who were seen walking together two and two. They were husband and wife, and were girded with a covering about the loins, and with a sort of covering about the head. When the preacher was with these, he was brought into the state in which he had been in the world when he wished to preach; and he then said that he wished to preach to them the crucified Lord. But they said they did not wish to hear such a thing, because they know not what it is, and that they know that the Lord lives. He then said that he wished to preach the living Lord; but this also they refused, saying that they did not observe in his speech what is heavenly, but what is earthly, because it was much for the sake of himself, and his own reputation and honor; and that they could hear from the very tone of his speech whether it came from his heart, or only from his mouth; and that because he was of this kind he could not teach them: wherefore he was silent. When he lived in the world he had been very pathetic, so that he could deeply move his hearers to what is holy; but this pathetic style had been acquired by art, and therefore was from self and the world, and not from heaven.

AC 10756. They said further that they have a perception whether those of their race who are naked have in them the conjugial principle; and it was shown that they perceive this from a spiritual idea about marriage, which being communicated to me was found to be that a likeness of the interiors was formed by the conjunction of truth and good, thus of faith and love, and that conjugial love comes forth from this conjunction coming down into the body. For all things of the lower mind (animus) are set forth in the body in some natural form, thus in the form of conjugial love when the interiors of two mutually love each other, and also from this love long to will and to think the one as the other, thus to be together and to be conjoined in respect to the interiors of the mind. From this the spiritual affection of their minds becomes natural in the body, and clothes itself with the feeling of conjugial love. They also said that there is nothing whatever of a conjugial nature between one man and a number of wives.

AC 10757. Afterward the preacher came to those who also were naked, but had inflamed bodies; and last of all to those who were black, some of whom were naked, and some were clothed. But all these dwelt elsewhere on the same earth.

AC 10758. Finally I spoke to the spirits of that earth about the faith of the inhabitants of our earth in regard to the resurrection, saying that they cannot conceive that men come unto the other life immediately after death, and then appear as men, in face, body, arms, feet, and all the senses external and internal; and still less that they are clothed with garments and have places of abode and habitations; and this merely for the reason that most of them think from the sensuous things of the body, and therefore believe that nothing has any existence except the things they see and touch; and also because few of them can be withdrawn from external sensuous things to interior ones, and thus be elevated into the light of heaven. From this it is that they cannot have any idea of a man in connection with their soul or spirit, but only an idea as of wind, air, or breath, of no form, in which however there is something vital. This is the reason why they do not believe that they will rise again except at the end of the world, which they call the Last Judgment, and that then the body though crumbled into dust and dispersed to all the winds is to be brought back and joined again to its soul or spirit.

[2] I added that they are permitted to believe this, because, thinking as they do from sensuous things, they can in no other way avoid the conception that it is impossible for their soul or spirit to live as a man and in the human form unless it gets back that body which it carried about in the world; and therefore unless it were said that this body will rise again, they would at heart reject as incomprehensible the doctrine of the resurrection and of eternal life. Nevertheless this idea about the resurrection is attended with this useful result, that they believe in a life after death. And from this belief it follows that when they lie sick in bed, and do not think as before from worldly and bodily things, thus not from sensuous ones, they then believe that they will live immediately after their decease; and they also then speak about heaven and about their hope of life there immediately after death, in a way far removed from the doctrine about the Last Judgment.

[3] I further told them something that has occasionally excited my surprise, namely, that when those who are in the faith speak of the life after death, and of their friends who are either dead or dying, and do not at the moment think about the Last Judgment, they believe that their friends will live, or are living, as men immediately after their decease. But the moment that there flows in the thought of the Last Judgment, this idea is changed into a material idea about their earthly body, that it is again to be joined with their soul. For they do not know that in respect to his interiors every man is a spirit, and that it is this which lives in the body, and not the body from itself; and that the spirit of everyone is that from which the body has its human form, consequently which is chiefly the man, and in a like form, but invisible before the eyes of the body, yet visible before the eyes of spirits.

[4] And it is also from this that when the sight of a man’s spirit is opened, which is effected by the removal of the sight of the body, angels are seen as men; as also did angels appear to the ancients of whom we read in the Word. I have also sometimes spoken with spirits whom I had known when they lived as men in the world, asking them whether they wish to be clothed again with their earthly body, as they had before thought. On hearing this they fled far away at the mere idea of such a conjunction, being filled with amazement that in the world they had so thought from a blind faith without any understanding.

AC 10759. The subject of the fifth earth in the starry heaven will be continued at the end of the following chapter.

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