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AC 5063. In the preface to the preceding chapter an explication was given of what the Lord said concerning the Judgment upon the good and the evil, in (Matthew 25:34-36). Then follow these words:--
Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee hungry and fed Thee? or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger and gathered Thee? or naked and clothed Thee? When saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? But the King shall say to them, Verily I say to you, In so far as ye did it to one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it to Me. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me ye cursed into the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and ye gave Me not to eat, I was thirsty and ye gave Me not to drink, I was a stranger and ye gathered Me not, naked and ye clothed Me not, sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say to you, In so far as ye did it not to one of these least, ye did it not to Me. And these shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:37-46).
AC 5064. In the prefatory remarks to the preceding chapter (n. 4954-4959), it was explained what is signified in the internal sense by "giving meat to the hungry and drink to the thirsty," by "gathering the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and him that is in prison"--that it is the essence of charity which is involved and is thus described. By the "hungry," the "thirsty," and the "stranger," is signified the affection of good and truth; and by the "naked," the "sick," and "those who are in prison," self-acknowledgment (n. 4956, 4958).
AC 5065. As the same things are thrice repeated in what has already been quoted and explained, it is unnecessary to show in detail, or word by word, what these expressions signify in the internal sense. In this place I will merely state what is signified by the answer made both by those on the right hand, and by those on the left--that they had not seen Him hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, and in prison; and afterward what is signified by the "King," and also by the "righteous and eternal life," and by the "cursed and eternal fire."
AC 5066. The answer made by those on the right hand:--Lord, when saw we Thee hungry and fed Thee? or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger and gathered Thee? or naked and clothed Thee? When saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? signifies that if they had seen the Lord Himself, everyone of them would have performed these offices; yet not from love toward Him, but from fear because He was to be the judge of the universe; thus not for His sake, but for the sake of themselves; thus not from within or from the heart, but from without and in act only. This is as when one sees a king whose favor he desires to gain in order that he may become great or rich, and therefore bears himself submissively toward him. It is similar with those who are in holy external worship, in which they as it were see the Lord, and submit themselves to Him, believing that in this way they will receive eternal life; and yet they have no charity, and do no good to anyone except for their own sake, thus only to themselves. They are like persons who in outward form pay court to their king with much respect, and yet deride his commands because at heart they disregard him. These and similar things are what are signified by those on the right hand so answering; and as the evil also do the like things in outward form, therefore they who were on the left made nearly the same answer.
AC 5067. As therefore the Lord cares not for external but for internal things, and as man testifies to his internal things, not by worship only, but by charity and its acts, the Lord answered:--Verily I say to you, In so far as ye did it to one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it to Me; those are called "brethren" who are in the good of charity and of life; for the Lord is with them, because they are in good itself; and it is they who are properly meant by the neighbor. In these also the Lord does not manifest Himself, for in respect to Him they are vile; but the man manifests himself before the Lord, in that he worships Him from within.
AC 5068. That the Lord calls Himself "King"--in these words:--When the Son of man shall come in His glory, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, then shall the King say unto them; is because the Lord‘s royalty is the Divine truth, from which and according to which judgment is effected. But from and according to it the good are judged in one way, and the evil in another. The good, because they have received Divine truth, are judged from good, and thus from mercy; the evil, because they have not received Divine truth, are judged from truth, and thus not from mercy; for this they have rejected, and hence they continue to reject it in the other life. To receive Divine truth is not only to have faith, but also to practise it, that is, to cause that which is of doctrine to become of the life. It is from this that the Lord calls Himself "King." The Lord’s royalty is the Divine truth, (n. 1728, 2015, 3009, 3670, 4581, 4966),
AC 5069. That they on the right hand are called "the righteous:--Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, etc., and, The righteous shall go into eternal life; signifies that they are in the Lord‘s righteousness. All who are in the good of charity are called the "righteous"--not that they are righteous from themselves, but from the Lord, whose righteousness is appropriated to them. They who believe themselves righteous from themselves, or made so righteous that there is no longer anything of evil in them, are not among the righteous, but among the unrighteous; for they attribute good to themselves, and also feel self-merit on account of it, and such can never adore the Lord from true humiliation; so that those who in the Word are called the "righteous," and the "saints," are those who know and acknowledge that all good is from the Lord, and that all evil is from themselves that is, is theirs from hell.
AC 5070. The "eternal life" which is given to the righteous, is life from good. Good has life in itself, because it is from the Lord, who is life itself. In the life which is from the Lord there are wisdom and intelligence; for to receive good from the Lord and thence to will good, is wisdom; and to receive truth from the Lord and thence to believe truth, is intelligence; and they who have this wisdom and intelligence have life; and as happiness is joined to such life, eternal happiness also is signified by "life." The contrary is the case with those who are in evil. These do indeed appear--especially to themselves--as if they had life, but it is such life as in the Word is called "death," and also is spiritual death; for they are not wise in any good, nor intelligent in any truth. This may be seen by everyone who takes the matter into consideration, for as there is life in good and in its truth, there cannot be life in evil and in its falsity, because these are opposite and extinguish life. Therefore the persons in question have no other life than such as belongs to the insane.
AC 5071. That they on the left hand are called "cursed," and their punishment "eternal fire," as where it is said:--Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me ye cursed into the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; and, These shall go away into eternal punishment; is because they have averted themselves from good and truth, and have turned to evil and falsity. A "curse," in the internal sense of the Word, signifies a turning away (n. 245, 379, 1423, 3530, 3584). The "eternal fire" into which they must depart is not natural fire, nor is it torment of conscience, but is concupiscence of evil; for the concupiscences in man are spiritual fires which consume him in the life of the body, and torment him in the other life. By these fires the infernals torture one another in direful ways.
 That "eternal fire" is not natural fire, is evident. That it is not torment of conscience, is because all who are in evil have no conscience, and they who have had none in the life of the body cannot have any in the other life. But that it is concupiscence is because all vital fire is from the loves in man--heavenly fire from the love of good and truth, and infernal fire from the love of evil and falsity,--or what is the same, heavenly fire is from love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor, and infernal fire is from the love of self and the love of the world. That all the fire or heat within man is from this source, anyone may know if he pays attention to the matter. It is for this reason also that love is called spiritual heat, and that by "fire" and "heat" in the Word nothing else is signified (n. 934, 1297, 1527, 1528, 1861, 2446, 4906). The vital fire in the evil is such that when they are in the vehemence of their concupiscences, they are also in a kind of fire, from which they are in the ardor and fury of tormenting others; but the vital fire in the good is such that when in a high degree of affection, they also are in a kind of fire, but from it they are in the love and zeal of benefiting others.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE GRAND MAN, HERE CONCERNING THE CORRESPONDENCE THEREWITH OF THE INTERIOR VISCERA
AC 5171. To what provinces angelic societies belong may be known in the other life from their situation relatively to the human body, and also from their operation and influx; for they flow into and operate upon that organ or member in which they are, but their influx and operation can be perceived only by those who are in the other life, and not by man unless his interiors are opened to that extent, nor even then unless the Lord gives him a sensitive reflection joined with perception.
AC 5172. There are certain upright spirits who think without any meditation, and who therefore rapidly and as it were without premeditation utter whatever occurs to their thought. They have an interior perception, which does not become so visual by means of meditations and thoughts as is the case with others; for in the course of their lives they have been as it were self-instructed about the goodness of things, but not so much so about the truth of them. I have been told that such persons belong to the province of the Thymus Gland; for the thymus is a gland that is especially serviceable to infants, and during that age is soft. In such spirits likewise there remains a soft infantile quality, into which the perception of good flows, and from which perception truth shines forth in a general manner. These spirits are able to be in great turmoils without being disturbed, as is also the case with the gland in question.
AC 5173. In the other life there are very many methods of agitation, and also very many methods of inaugurations into circles. The purifying in the body of the blood, as well as of the serum or lymph, and also of the chyle, represents these agitations, which are effected also by various castigations; and the subsequent introducing into use of these fluids represents the inaugurations into circles. It is a very common thing in the other life for spirits, after undergoing agitation, to be let into a tranquil and delightful state, thus into the societies into which they are to be inaugurated, and to which they are to be joined.
 That the castigation and purifying of the blood, serum, and chyle, and of the food in the stomach, correspond to such things in the spiritual world, cannot but seem strange to those who think of nothing else in natural things than what is natural, and especially to those who believe in nothing else, thus denying that there is or can be anything spiritual within natural things that acts and rules; when yet the truth is that in all and each of the things in nature and her three kingdoms there is an inward active force from the spiritual world; and unless this were so, nothing whatever is the natural world could act as cause and effect, and consequently nothing could he produced. That which is with natural things from the spiritual world is called a force implanted from the first creation; whereas it is an endeavor, or the cessation of which, action or motion ceases. Hence it is that the universal visible world is a theater representative of the spiritual world.
 The case herein is like that of the motion of the muscles from which is action; unless there were in this motion an endeavor from man‘s thought and will it would cease in a moment; for it is according to laws known in the learned world that when endeavor ceases, motion ceases, and also that every thing of determination is in endeavor, and that in motion there is nothing real except endeavor. It is clear that this force or endeavor in action or motion is the spiritual in the natural; for to think and will is spiritual, and to act and be moved is natural. It is true that those who do not think beyond nature do not apprehend this, and yet they cannot deny it. Nevertheless that in the will and thence in the thought, which produces, is not alike in form to the action that is produced; for the action merely represents that which the mind wills and thinks.
AC 5174. It is known that the food in the stomach is agitated in many ways, in order that its inner elements may be extracted, and may serve for use, that is, may pass into chyle, and then into blood; and that it is further agitated in the intestines. Such agitations are represented by the first agitations of spirits, which all take place according to their life in the world, in order that evils may be separated, and goods gathered to serve for use; and therefore it may be said of souls or spirits that shortly after death or release from the body, they come first as it were into the region of the stomach, and are there agitated and purified. They in whom evils have obtained the ascendency, after being agitated with no good result, are conveyed through the stomach into the intestines, even to the last, which are the colon and rectum, and thence are cast forth into the privy, that is, into hell. But they in whom goods have had the ascendency, after some agitations and purifications become chyle, and pass into the blood, some by a longer and some by a shorter way, some being agitated severely, some gently, and some scarcely at all. These last are represented in the food juices which are at once imbibed by the veins and carried into the circulation, even into the brain; and so on.
AC 5175. For when a man dies and enters the other life, his life is circumstanced like food, which is softly taken hold of by the lips and is then passed through the mouth, fauces, and esophagus, into the stomach, and this according to the nature that has been contracted in the life of the body by means of various activities. At first most spirits are treated gently, being kept in the company of angels and good spirits, which is represented by the food being first touched softly by the lips, and then tasted by the tongue to discover its quality. Food that is soft, and in which there is what is sweet, oily, and spirituous, is at once absorbed by the veins, and carried into the circulation; but food that is hard, and in which there is what is bitter, noisome, and but little nutritious, is mastered with more difficulty, being let down through the esophagus into the stomach, where it is churned in various ways and windings; and food that is still harder, more noisome, and innutritious, is thrust down into the intestines, and at last into the rectum, where first is hell; and finally it is cast out, and becomes excrement. It is similar with the life of man after death. He is at first kept in externals, and because in these he had led a civil and moral life, he is with angels and upright spirits; but after external things are taken away from him it becomes plain of what quality he had been inwardly in respect to his thoughts and affections, and finally in respect to his ends, his life remaining according to these last.
AC 5176. So long as spirits are in the state in which they are like food in the stomach, so long they are not in the Grand Man, but are being introduced into it; but when they are representatively in the blood, they are then in the Grand Man.
AC 5177. They who have been very solicitous about the future, and especially they who have therefore become grasping and avaricious, appear in the region where the stomach is. Many have appeared to me there. The sphere of their life may be compared to a sickening smell which is exhaled from the stomach, and also to the heaviness from indigestion. They who have been of this character stay long in this region, because solicitude about the future, when confirmed by act, greatly dulls and retards the influx of spiritual life; for they attribute to themselves that which is of the Divine Providence; and they who do this obstruct the influx, and take away from themselves the life of good and truth.
AC 5178. As solicitude about things to come is what produces anxieties in man, and as such spirits appear in the region of the stomach, therefore anxieties affect the stomach more than the other viscera. It has also been given me to perceive how these anxieties are increased and diminished by the presence and removal of the spirits referred to. Some anxieties were perceived interiorly, some more exteriorly, some more above, and some more below, according to the difference of such solicitude as to origin, derivation, and direction. It is for this reason also that when such anxieties take possession of the mind, the region about the stomach is constricted, and at times pain is felt there, and the anxieties also seem to rise up from there; and hence also it is that when man is no longer solicitous about the future, or when everything turns out well for him so that he no longer is fearful of any misfortune, the region about the stomach is relieved and expands, and he feels delight.
AC 5179. I once observed an anxious feeling in the lower part of the stomach, from which it was evident to me that such spirits were present. I spoke with them, and said that they should go away, because their sphere induced anxiety and did not agree with the spheres of the spirits who were with me. I then discoursed with them about spheres, saying that there are very many spiritual spheres about man, and that men do not know nor desire to know that such is the case, because they deny all that which is called spiritual, and some whatever is not seen and touched; thus that certain spheres from the spiritual world encompass man, agreeing with his life, and that by means of them man is in company with spirits of similar affection, and that many things take place thereby which the man who attributes all things to nature either denies or ascribes to a more occult nature--as for example that which is ascribed to fortune; for by their experience some persons are fully persuaded that something called fortune is secretly at work, but they know not what is the source of it. That this hidden something is from a spiritual sphere, and is the ultimate of Providence, will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be shown elsewhere, from what has been attested by experience.
AC 5180. There are genii and spirits who induce upon the head a kind of suction or drawing, in such a way as to cause pain in the part affected. I noticed a distinct feeling of suction, as if a membrane were being very sensibly sucked up. I doubt whether others could have borne this on account of the pain; but having become accustomed to it, I have at last often borne it without pain. The chief place of the suction was on the top of the head; and from there it spread toward the region of the left ear, and also toward the region of the left eye. That which spread toward the eye was from spirits, and that which spread toward the ear was from genii. Both of these belong to the province of the receptacle and ducts of the chyle, whither also the chyle is drawn from all quarters, although at the same time it is driven there. There were also others, who acted within the head in almost the same way, but not with so great a force of suction. It was said that these are they to whom the subtle chyle corresponds, which is brought toward the brain and there mingled with new animal spirit, in order that it may be sent down toward the heart. They who acted outwardly were first seen by me on the front side, a little to the left, and afterward in a higher position there; so that their region was observed to be from the plane of the septum of the nose rising toward the plane of the left ear.
 They who constitute this province are of two kinds, some being quite modest, while others are wanton. The modest are they who have desired to know men‘s thoughts for the purpose of alluring and binding them to themselves (for one who knows another’s thoughts, knows also his secret and inner things, and this effects conjunction), the end being social intercourse and friendship. These desire to know only what is good in men, exploring this and putting a good interpretation on everything else. But the wanton desire and endeavor in many ways to find out the thoughts of others, with a view either of making capital of them or of doing harm; and because they are in such a desire and endeavor, they keep the person‘s mind fixed on the thing they desire to know, never giving way, yielding an affectionate assent, and thus drawing out even the secret thoughts. In the other life they act in a similar manner in the societies there, and still more artfully; for there they do not allow the other to wander from his idea, which they also kindle into activity, and thus lure it forth. By this means they afterward hold the others as it were in bonds, and under their control, being privy to their evils. But these spirits are among the wandering spirits, and are often chastised.
AC 5181. From the circles above referred to it may also somewhat be known to what province in the Grand Man, and correspondently in the body, spirits and angels belong. The circles of those who belong to the province of the Lymphatics are slight and rapid, like gently flowing water, so that scarcely any circling can be perceived. They who belong to the lymphatics are afterward conveyed into places which they said have reference to the Mesentery, and where I was told that there are as it were labyrinths, and that they are afterward taken away to various places in the Grand Man to serve for use, as is done with the chyle in the body.
AC 5182. There are circles into which recent spirits have to be inaugurated in order that they may be able to be in the companionship of others, and both speak and think together with them. In the other life there must be a concord and unanimity of all, in order that they may be a one; just as is the case with each and all things in man, which though everywhere various, yet by being of one accord make a one. It is similar in the Grand Man; and to this end the thought and speech of one must be in accord with those of others. It is a fundamental necessity that the thought and speech should accord together in every individual in a society; otherwise a discordance like a disagreeable grating noise is perceived, which strikes harshly on the minds of the others. Moreover every thing discordant tends to disunite, and is impure, and must be rejected. This impurity arising from discord is represented by the impurity with and in the blood, from which it needs to be cleansed. This cleansing is effected by means of agitations, which are nothing else than temptations of various kinds; and afterward by means of introduction into circles. The first introduction into circles takes place in order that the spirits may be accommodated together; the second is in order that the thought and speech may be in accord; the third is that the spirits may agree together as to thoughts and affections; and the fourth is that they may agree in truths and goods.
AC 5183. It has been granted me to observe the circles of those who belong to the province of the Liver, and this for the space of an hour. The circles were gentle, flowing about variously in accordance with the working of this viscus, and they affected me with much delight. Their working is diverse, but is usually orbicular. That their working is diverse is represented also in the functions of the liver, which are diverse; for the liver draws in blood and separates it, pouring the better part into the veins, sending away that of a middle quality into the hepatic duct, and leaving the viler part for the gallbladder. This is the case in adults; but in embryos the liver receives the blood from the womb of the mother, and purifies it, insinuating the purer part into the veins, that it may flow into the heart by a shorter way, thus acting as a guard before the heart.
AC 5184. They who belong to the Pancreas act by a sharper mode, and as it were in a sawing manner, and with a buzzing sound like that of sawing, which comes audibly to the ears of spirits, but not to those of man unless he is in the spirit while in the body. Their region is between the region of the spleen and that of the liver, more to the left. They who are in the province of the Spleen are almost directly over the head; but their working falls on the organ in question.
AC 5185. There are spirits who relate to the Pancreatic, Hepatic, and Cystic Ducts, and consequently to the biles in them, which the intestines cast out. These spirits are of different kinds, but act in consort according to the state of those to whom the working is directed. They present themselves chiefly at chastisements and punishments, which they desire to direct. The worst of them are so stubborn that they are not willing to desist unless deterred by fears and threats; for they dread sufferings, and then promise anything. They are those who in the life of the body have clung tenaciously to their opinions, not so much from evil of life as from a natural depravity. When they are in their natural state they think nothing; to think nothing is to think obscurely of many things together, and not distinctly of anything. Their delight is to chastise, and in this way to do good; nor do they abstain from things unclean.
AC 5186. They who constitute the province of the Gall bladder are at the back. They are those who in the life of the body have despised what is upright, and in a certain way what is pious; and also those who have brought these things into disrepute.
AC 5187. A certain spirit came to me, inquiring whether I knew where he might stay; and when, thinking him well disposed, I told him that possibly he might stay here, there came agitating spirits of this province who tormented him miserably. I was sorry for this, and in vain desired to prevent it. I then noticed that I was in the province of the gall-bladder. The agitating spirits were of those who despise what is upright and pious. It was granted me to observe one kind of agitation there, that consists in forcing one to speak faster than he can think. This they effected by abstracting the speech from the thought, and by then forcing the spirit to follow their speech, which it is painful to do. By means of such an agitation the slow are inaugurated into a quicker thinking and speaking.
AC 5188. There are some in the world who act by artifices and lies, whence come evils. Their quality was shown me, and also the manner in which they act, how they employ the harmless as instruments of persuading others, and also how they induce on them the person of having said so and so, when yet they have said nothing of the kind. In a word, they use evil means to arrive at their end, whatever it may be, even such means as deceits, lies, and artifices. Such spirits have reference to the sores called Spurious Tubercles, which usually grow on the pleura and other membranes; and wherever these sores take firm hold they spread their poison widely, until at last they bring decay upon the whole membrane.
 Such spirits are severely punished; but their punishment is different from that of others, being effected by means of whirlings; for they are whirled round from left to right, like an orbit which at first is a plane, but which in whirling round swells out. Afterward the swelling seems to be pressed in and to grow hollow, whereupon the speed is increased; and wonderful to say this is according to the form and in imitation of such swellings or abscesses. It was observed that while being whirled they tried to draw others, for the most part the guiltless, into their whirl, and thus into destruction; thus that they did not care whom they drew into perdition, so long as these seemed to themselves to perish.
 It was also observed that they have a most intense sight, seeing as it were instantly and thereby seizing on as means whatever is favorable; thus that they are sharper than others. They may also be called deadly ulcers, wherever in the chamber of the breast these may be, whether in the pleura, in the pericardium, in the mediastinum, or in the lungs. It was shown that after punishment such spirits are rejected to the back into the deep, and that they lie there with the face and belly downward, having but little human life, and being thereby deprived of their sharp-sightedness, which had been that of a ferine life. Their hell is in a deep place under the right foot, somewhat in front.
AC 5189. There came some spirits in front; and before their coming I noticed a sphere from evil spirits, from which I supposed that evil spirits were approaching; but they were their enemies, as I learned from the aggressive and hostile feeling which they inspired against them. When they arrived they placed themselves above my head, and spoke with me, saying that they were men. I answered that they were not men endowed with a body such as men in the world have, who are wont to call themselves men from the form of the body; but that nevertheless they are men, because the spirit of the man is truly the man. To this I perceived no dissent, for they confirmed it. They said further that they were men who are unlike; and because it seemed impossible to me that there could be a society in the other life of those who are unlike, I talked with them about it, and said that if a common cause impelled them to unity, they nevertheless could be associated, because they would thus all have one end. They said that their quality was such that each one speaks differently from the others, and yet they all think alike. This they also illustrated by examples, whereby it appeared that the perception of all was one, but that their speech was diverse.
 They then applied themselves to my left ear and said that they were good spirits, and it was their custom so to speak. It was said of them that they come in a body, and that no one knows where they come from. I perceived the sphere of evil spirits to be exceedingly hostile to them; for evil spirits are the subjects whom they agitate. Their society, which is a wandering one, was represented by a man and a woman in a chamber, clothed with a garment that was turned into a robe of an azure color.
 It was perceived that they have reference to the Isthmus in the brain, which is between the cerebrum and the cerebellum, through which fibers pass, and thence spread in various directions, and in every direction operate diversely in the outward things; also that they have reference to the Ganglia in the body, into which a nerve flows, and from there is divided into a number of fibers, some of which run one way and some another, their action being dissimilar in ultimates, and yet is from one beginning; thus being in ultimates dissimilar in appearance, yet similar in end. Moreover it is known that one force acting in the extremities can have a manifold variation, and this according to the form there. Ends also are represented by the beginnings, such as they are in the brain, from which are the fibers; the thoughts from these ends are represented by the fibers from those beginnings; and the actions thence resulting by the nerves which are composed of fibers.
AC 5190. A continuation about the correspondence with the Grand Man will be found at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page