Spiritual background for EXODUS 8    previous  -  next  -  text  -  Exodus  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


AC 7366. It was said above that the loves of self and of the world make hell with man; and now the quality of these loves is to be told, in order that a man may know whether he is in them, and consequently whether hell or heaven is in him; for in man himself is either hell or heaven. That the kingdom of God is within man, the Lord teaches in (Luke 17:21); consequently hell also is within him.

AC 7367. The love of self reigns with a man, that is, he is in the love of self, when in what he thinks and does, he does not regard his neighbor, thus not the public, still less the Lord, but only himself and those who belong to him; consequently when he does all things for the sake of himself and those who belong to him; and if for the sake of the public and his neighbor, it is merely for the sake of the appearance.

AC 7368. It is said "for the sake of himself and those who belong to him," because he together with these, and these together with him, make a one; just as when anyone does anything for the sake of his wife, of his children, grandchildren, sons-in-law, or daughters-in-law, he does it for the sake of himself, because they are his. In like manner one who does anything for the sake of relatives and of friends who favor his love and thereby conjoin themselves with him; for by such conjunction they make one with him, that is, regard themselves in him, and him in themselves.

AC 7369. In so far as a man is in the love of self, so far he removes himself from the love of the neighbor; consequently in so far as a man is in the love of self, so far he removes himself from heaven, for in heaven there is the love of the neighbor. From this it also follows that in so far as man is in the love of self, so far he is in hell, for in hell there is the love of self.

AC 7370. That man is in the love of self who despises his neighbor in comparison with himself, who regards him as his enemy if he does not favor and reverence him; he is still more in the love of self who therefore hates and persecutes his neighbor; and he still more who therefore burns with revenge against him and desires his destruction. Such persons at last love to rage against their neighbor; and the same, if they are also adulterers, become cruel.

AC 7371. The delight which these men perceive in such things is the delight of the love of self. This delight in a man is infernal delight. Everything that is according to love is delightful; and therefore the quality of the love can be known from the delight.

AC 7372. From what has now been described (n. 7370), as a test, it is known who are in the love of self. It matters not how they appear in the outward form, whether pretentious or unassuming; for such they are in the interior man; and the interior man is at this day hidden by most people, and the exterior is trained to make a show of love of the public and the neighbor, thus for contrary things; and this also for the sake of self and for the sake of the world.

AC 7373. But the love of the world reigns with a man, that is, a man is in the love of the world, when in what he thinks and does he regards and intends nothing but his own advantage, not caring whether this involves harm to his neighbor and to the public.

AC 7374. Those are in the love of the world who desire to possess themselves of the goods of others by artful devices, and still more those who do this by cunning and deceit. They who are in this love envy others their goods, and covet them and in so far as they do not fear the laws, they take them away, even by robbery.

AC 7375. These two loves increase in so far as the reins are given them, and in so far as the man is borne along into them; and at last they increase beyond measure, so that they desire to govern not only all things in their own kingdom, but also what is beyond, even to the ends of the earth; nay, these loves when unbridled ascend even to the God of the universe, that is, to such a height that they who are in them wish to climb to the throne of God, and to be worshiped instead of God Himself, according to what is written in Isaiah concerning Lucifer, by whom are meant those who are in these loves, and are called "Babel":--

Thou saidst in thine heart, I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the cloud, and become like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be cast down to hell (Isa. 14:13-15).

AC 7376. From all this it can now be seen that these two loves are the origins of all evils, for they are diametrically opposed to love toward the neighbor, and to love to the Lord; thus diametrically opposed to heaven, where love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor reign. consequently it is these loves, namely, the love of self and the love of the world, that make hell with man, for these two loves reign in hell.

AC 7377. But they are not in these loves who aspire to honors not for the sake of themselves, but for the sake of their country; and who aspire to wealth not for the sake of wealth, but for the sake of the necessaries of life, both for themselves and for their families, also for the sake of the good use on account of which the wealth delights them. With such persons honors and riches are means of imparting benefits.


AC 7475. The spirits of the planet Mars appear to themselves as men such as they had been in the world, and therefore they have to others a like appearance; for everyone in the other life appears to others as he appears to himself, because the perception is communicated. When I wondered at this, they said that they cannot appear otherwise, because when they lived in the world they knew that they were spirits clothed with a body, and then thought little about their body, but only about the life of their spirit in the body; and therefore when they come into the other life they scarcely know that the state of life has been changed; and as they then also think about the life of their spirit just as they did in the world, they therefore appear to themselves like men. All spirits are indeed in the human form, but not in one so strikingly like that in which are the spirits of Mars; for with these the idea remains such as they had in the world. Moreover with those who when in the world know and believe that in the other life they shall be in the human form, as the body decreases, this thought increases; and therefore when they put off the body which had served them for use in the world, from the idea impressed upon them they remain to themselves in a like form.

AC 7476. The spirits of Mars are among those who are the best of all from the earths of this solar system, for they are mostly celestial men, not unlike those who were of the Most Ancient Church on this earth (n. 1114-1125). When their quality is represented, they are represented with the face in heaven and the body in the world of spirits; and those of them who are angels, with the face toward the Lord and the body in heaven.

AC 7477. More than other spirits they acknowledge and adore our Lord; they say that He is the only God, and that He rules both heaven and the universe, and that all good is from Him; they said that it is the Lord who leads them, and that He also frequently appears to them in their earth. That the Lord rules both heaven and the universe is a truth known also to Christians in this earth from His words in Matthew:--

All power has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18);

but they do not so believe it as do those who are from the earth Mars.

AC 7478. Once when the Lord was mentioned, I saw that those spirits humbled themselves so inmostly and profoundly that it cannot be described, for in their humiliation they had the thought that of themselves they are in hell, and that thus they are altogether unworthy to look to the Lord, who is the Holy itself. They were so profoundly in this thought from faith that they were as it were out of themselves, and in it they remained on their knees until the Lord lifted them up, and then as it were drew them out from hell. When they thus emerge from humiliation, they are full of good and of love, and hence of joy of heart. When they so humble themselves they do not turn the face to the Lord, for this they dare not then do, but turn it away. The spirits who were around me said that they never saw such humiliation.

AC 7479. I have spoken with some from that earth about the faith of those who dwell there. They said that they there believe that there is nothing in them but what is filthy and infernal, and that all good is of the Lord. They even said further that of themselves they are devils, and that the Lord draws them out and continually withholds them from hell. They wondered that so many evil spirits were about me, and also spoke to me; but it was given me to answer that this is permitted them for the purpose that I may thus know their quality, and why they are in hell, and that this is according to their life. It was also given me to say that there were some among them whom I had known when they lived in the world, and that they had then been in stations of great dignity, although nothing but the world was in their hearts; but that no evil spirit, even the most infernal, can do me any harm, because I am continually protected by the Lord.

AC 7480. I have been instructed that the spirits of Mars have relation to something which is interior in man, and indeed intermediate between the intellectual part and the will part, thus to thought from affection; and they who are the best of them, to the affection of the thought. This is the reason why their face makes a one with their thought, and why they cannot dissemble before anyone (n. 7360, 7361).

AC 7481. And because they have such a relation in the Grand Man, that middle province of the brain which is between the cerebrum and the cerebellum corresponds to them. For with those with whom the cerebrum and the cerebellum have been conjoined in respect to spiritual operations, the face acts as a one with the thought, so that from the face the very affection of the thought shines forth; and from the affection, with some signs also going forth from the eyes, the general of the thought shines forth; and therefore when they were near me, I sensibly noticed a drawing back of the front part of the head toward the hinder part, thus of the cerebrum toward the cerebellum.

AC 7482. Once when the spirits of Mars were with me, and occupied the sphere of my mind, spirits from our earth came near and wished to infuse themselves also into that sphere but then the spirits of our earth became as if insane, because they did not at all agree. For the spirits of our earth look to themselves and the world, thus they are in an idea turned to themselves; but the spirits of Mars look to heaven, thus to the Lord and their neighbor, and hence are in an idea turned away from themselves. From this cause there is contrariety. But then came near some angelic spirits of Mars, by whose coming the communication was taken away; and so the spirits of our earth retired.

AC 7483. There was presented to me an inhabitant of that earth: his face was like that of the inhabitants of our earth, but the lower part of the face was black, not from a beard, which they have not, but from blackness in place of it. This is also from correspondence. The blackness extended itself on both sides up to the ears. The upper part of the face was yellowish, like the faces of the inhabitants of our earth who are not quite white.

AC 7484. They said that they live on the fruits of trees, and especially on a certain round fruit which springs up out of their ground, and also on legumes.

AC 7485. They are clad with garments that they make from the bark fibers of certain trees, which have such a strength that they can be woven, and can also be glued together by a kind of gum which they have.

AC 7486. Among other things they also said that on their earth they know how to make fluid fires, from which they have light in the evening and night.

AC 7487. The subject of the inhabitants and spirits of Mars will be continued at the end of the following chapter.

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