Spiritual background for GENESIS 42    previous  -  next  -  text  -  Genesis  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


AC 5552. In regard to correspondence the case is this. The things in man which have the most life correspond to those societies in the heavens which have the most life and hence the most happiness there, as do those to which man’s external and internal sensories correspond, and the things of his under standing and will. But the things in man which have less life correspond to such societies there as are in less life, as the cuticles which invest the whole body, the cartilages and bones which support and hold together all the parts of the body, and also the hairs which grow out from the cuticles. What the societies are to which these correspond, and what is their quality, is also to be told.

AC 5553. The societies to which the skins correspond are in the entrance to heaven, and to them is given a perception of the quality of the spirits who throng to the first threshold, whom they either reject or admit; so that they may be called entrances or thresholds to heaven.

AC 5554. There are very many societies that constitute the external integuments of the body, with differences from the face to the soles of the feet; for there are differences everywhere. I have spoken much with them. In regard to spiritual life they had been such that they suffered themselves to be persuaded by others that a thing is so; and when they heard it confirmed from the literal sense of the Word, they wholly believed it, and remained in the opinion, and instituted a life, not evil, in accordance with it. Others who are not of a similar nature cannot easily have intercourse with them; for they cling tenaciously to the opinions they have received, and do not suffer themselves to be led away from them by reasons. Very many such are from this earth, because our planet is in externals, and also reacts against internals, as does the skin.

AC 5555. There are those who in the life of the body have known nothing but the general things of faith as that the neighbor ought to be loved and who from this general principle have done good to the evil and to the upright alike without discrimination, saying that everyone is the neighbor. When these lived in the world they suffered themselves to be led much astray by the deceitful, hypocritical, and pretending; and the same thing happens to them in the other life; nor do they care what is said to them, for they are sensuous and do not enter into reasons. These also constitute the skin, but the outer and less sensitive part. I have spoken with those who constitute the skin of the skull. There is as great a difference in those who constitute the skin, as there is in the skin itself in various place as on different parts of the skull, about the occiput, sinciput, and temples, on the face, and on the chest, abdomen, loins, feet, arms, hands, and fingers.

AC 5556. It has also been given me to know who constitute the scarf-skin. This skin is less sensitive than any other of the coverings, for it is covered over with scales that are nearly like a thin cartilage. The societies which constitute it are they who reason about all things as to whether it be so or not so, and go no further. When I spoke with them, it was given to perceive that they do not at all apprehend what is true or not true; and the more they reason, the less they apprehend. Yet they seem to themselves wiser than others, for they vest wisdom in the faculty of reasoning. They are altogether ignorant that the chief thing in wisdom is to perceive without reasoning, that a thing is so or not so. Many such are from those who in the world became so from a confusion of good and truth through philosophical subtleties, and who thereby have the less common sense.

AC 5557. There are also spirits through whom others speak, and who hardly understand what they say. This they confessed, but still talked much. They become so who in the life of the body only prated, without thinking at all about what they said, and loved to talk about everything. I was told that they are in companies, and that some of these relate to the membranes which cover the viscera of the body, and some to the cuticles which have but little sensitiveness; for they are only passive powers, and do nothing from themselves, but from others.

AC 5558. There are spirits who when they wish to know anything, say that it is so, one after another in the society: and when they say it, they observe whether it flows freely without any spiritual resistance; for when it is not so, they usually perceive a resistance from within; and if they perceive no resistance they think that it is so, and do not know it in any other way. Such are they who constitute the little glands of the skin. But there are two kinds of them, one which affirms because there appears a free flow, as was said, from which they surmise that as there is no resistance it is in agreement with the heavenly form, consequently with the truth, and thereby that it is affirmed; and another kind which boldly affirms that it is so, although they do not know it.

AC 5559. The conformation of the interweavings of the skins has been shown to me representatively. The conformation with those in whom these outermost things corresponded to the interiors, or in whom the material things there were obedient to spiritual things, was a beautiful weaving of spirals wonderfully intertwined in a kind of lace-work which it is impossible to describe. They were of a blue color. Afterward were represented forms still more elaborate, more delicate, and more beautifully interwoven. Of such a structure appear the skins of a regenerate man. But with those who have been deceitful, these outermost things appear like knottings together of mere serpents; and with those who have used magical arts, like foul intestines.

AC 5560. The societies of spirits to which the cartilages and bones correspond are very many; but they are such as have little spiritual life in them, just as there is little life in the bones as compared with the soft parts which they enclose as for example in the skull and the bones of the head compared with either brain and the medulla oblongata and the sensitive substances there; and also as in the vertebrae and ribs in comparison with the heart and lungs; and so on.

AC 5561. It has been shown me how little spiritual life they have who relate to the bones. Other spirits speak through them, and they themselves know little of what they say; but still they speak, vesting delight in this only. Into such a state are they reduced who have led an evil life, and yet have had some remains of good stored up in them. These remains make that little of spiritual life, after the vastations of many ages. What remains are, (n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284, 5135, 5342, 5344). It is said that they have little spiritual life, and by spiritual life is meant the life which the angels in heaven have. To this life man is introduced in the world by the things of faith and charity; the very affection of the good which is of charity, and the affection of the truth which is of faith, are spiritual life. Man‘s life without these is a natural, worldly, bodily, and earthly life, which is not spiritual life, unless spiritual life is in it, but is such a life as he has in common with animals,

AC 5562. They who come out of vastations, and serve the uses of the bones, have not any determinate thought, but general, almost indeterminate; they are like those who are called distraught, as if not in the body; they are slow, heavy, stupid, sluggish in everything. Yet sometimes they are not untranquil, because cares do not penetrate, but are dispersed in their general obscurity.

AC 5563. Pains are sometimes felt in the skull, now in one part, now in another; and nuclei seem to be perceived there which are separate from the other bones, and which thus are in pain. It has been given me to know by experience that such pains come from falsities originating in cupidities; and wonderful to say the genera and species of falsities have fixed places in the skull, as has also been made known to me by much experience. Such nuclei, which are indurations, are broken up and made soft in those who are being reformed; and this is done in various ways, in general by instructions in good and truth, by harsh influxes of truths which cause inward pain, and by actual rendings which cause outward pain. Falsities from cupidities are of such a nature that they produce hardness; for they are contrary to truths, which because they are determined according to the form of heaven, flow as it were spontaneously, freely, gently, and softly; while falsities, being of a contrary tendency, have opposite determinations, so that the flow which is of the form of heaven is stopped; hence the indurations. From this cause they who have been in deadly hatred and in the revengefulness of such hatred, and from these in falsities, have skulls completely indurated, and some have skulls like ebony, through which no rays of light, which are truths, penetrate, but are wholly reflected.

AC 5564. There are spirits small in stature who when they speak, thunder, one sometimes like a troop. It is innate in them to speak so. They are not from this earth, but from another, which of the Lord’s Divine mercy will be spoken of when I speak of the inhabitants of the various earths. It was said that they relate to the shield like cartilage in front of the chest, and which serves as a support in front to the ribs, and also to the various muscles of tone.

AC 5565. There are also some spirits who relate to bones still harder, as the teeth; but it has not been granted me to know much about them, merely that having scarcely any spiritual life left, when presented to view in the light of heaven, they do not appear with any face, but only with teeth in place of a face; for the face represents man‘s interiors, thus his spiritual and celestial things, that is, those of faith and charity; and therefore they appear thus who in the life of the body have not acquired anything of this life.

AC 5566. There came toward me one who appeared like a black cloud about which were shooting stars. When shooting stars appear in the other life they signify falsities; but fixed stars signify truths. I perceived that it was a spirit who wished to approach. When he came near he struck me with fear; this certain spirits can do, especially robbers, and therefore I was able to conclude that he had been a robber. When he was near me, he made every effort to infest me by magic arts, but in vain. He stretched out his hand that he might exert his imaginary power, but with no effect whatever The kind of face he had was afterward shown. It was no face, but something very black in place of one; and in it appeared a mouth gaping so dreadfully and ferociously that it was a very maw in which teeth were set in rows. In a word, it was like a mad dog with distended jaws, so that it was a wide open mouth, not a face.

AC 5567. A certain one applied himself to my left side, and at that time I did not know where he came from, nor what he was; he also acted obscurely. He wanted to penetrate inwardly into me, but was kept out, He induced a general sphere of ideas of thought that is indescribable, and I do not remember having previously noticed any general sphere like it, He was bound by no principles, but in general was against all whom he could readily and ingeniously refute and censure, although he did not know what truth is. I wondered at his having the cleverness to show others to be wrong, and yet do this from no knowledge of truth in himself, Afterward he went away, but soon returned with an earthen jug in his hand, and wanted to give me something out of it to drink, There was in the jug, from phantasy, something that would take away the understanding of those who drank. This was represented because he had deprived those who were attached to him in the world of the understanding of truth and good; but still they clung to him. He also, in the light of heaven, did not appear with any face, but only with teeth, for the reason that he could ridicule others, and still knew nothing of truth himself. I was told who he was, and that when he lived, he was one of the men of note, and his nature had been known to some.

AC 5568. There have been with me at times those who gnashed with their teeth. They were from the hells where are those who had not only led an evil life, but had also confirmed themselves against the Divine, and had referred all things to nature. These gnash with their teeth when they speak, which is horrible to hear.

AC 5569. As there is a correspondence of the bones and the skins, so there is of the hairs; for these push forth from roots in the skins. Whatever has a correspondence with the Grand Man is possessed by angels and spirits; for each one as an image represents the Grand Man; therefore the angels have hair arranged becomingly and in order. Their hair represents their natural life and its correspondence with their spiritual life. That "hair" signifies the things of natural life, may be seen above (n. 3301); and also that "to poll the hair" is to accommodate natural things so that they may be becoming and thus comely (n. 5247).

AC 5570. There are many, especially women, who have vested everything in adornment, nor have they thought higher, and scarcely anything about eternal life. This is pardoned to women until the age of womanhood, when the ardor which is wont to precede marriage ceases; but if they persist in such things in adult age, when they can know better, they then contract a nature which remains after death. Such appear in the other life with long hair spread over the face, which they also comb, vesting elegance therein; for "to comb the hair" signifies to accommodate natural things so that they appear becoming (n. 5247). From this their quality is known by others; for spirits can tell from the color, length, and arrangement of the hair what the persons had been as to natural life in the world.

AC 5571. They who have believed nature to be everything, and have confirmed themselves in this, and therefore have led a careless life, not acknowledging any life after death, thus neither hell nor heaven, being merely natural, do not appear in the light of heaven to have any face, but in its place something bearded, hairy, unshorn; for as before said, the face represents spiritual and heavenly things inwardly in man, but hairiness natural things.

AC 5572. There are very many at this day in the Christian world who ascribe all things to nature, and scarcely anything to the Divine; but there are more of these in one nation than in another. I may therefore relate a conversation I had with some from that nation in which there are very many such.

AC 5573. A certain one was present above the head who was unseen, but whose presence was perceived from an odor of burnt horn or bone, and from a stench of teeth. Afterward a great multitude, like a black cloud, came unseen from beneath upward behind the back, and stopped above the head. I supposed they were unseen because they were subtle; but I was told that where there is a spiritual sphere they are invisible, but where there is a natural sphere they are visible. They are called invisible natural spirits. The first thing disclosed about them was that they strove with the utmost diligence, skill, and artfulness to prevent anything from being divulged about them, to which end they were skilled in stealing from others their ideas, and inducing other ideas, by which they hindered detection. This continued quite a long time. Hence it was given to know that in the life of the body they had been such as not to desire to have anything divulged of what they did or thought, assuming a different face and a different speech. Nevertheless they had not used these things in order to deceive in a lying manner,

[2] It was perceived that they who were present had been traders in the life of the body, but traders whose delight of life consisted rather in trading itself than in riches, so that trading had been as it were their soul, I therefore spoke to them about this, and was given to say that trading does not at all prevent anyone from coming into heaven, and that the rich as well as the poor are in heaven, But they objected, saying that it had been their opinion that if they were to be saved they would have to renounce trade, give all they had to the poor, and make themselves miserable, But it was given to reply to them that such is not the case, and that those among them who are in heaven because they had been good Christians, had thought otherwise, and yet they had been wealthy, and some of them very wealthy. These had the common good and love toward the neighbor as their end, and had engaged in mercantile pursuits merely for the sake of employment in the world, and moreover had not set their heart on these things. And the reason why they themselves are below, is that they had been merely natural, and therefore had not believed in a life after death, nor in hell and heaven, nor even in any spirit; and that they had not hesitated to deprive others of their goods by any artifice whatever, and could without mercy see whole families ruined for the sake of their own gain; and that they therefore had ridiculed everyone who spoke to them about a spiritual life,

[3] The kind of faith they had about the life after death, and about heaven and hell, was also shown, There appeared one who was taken up into heaven from the left toward the right; and it was said that it was one who had recently died, and was being immediately conducted by the angels into heaven, There was a conversation about this, But although they also saw it they nevertheless had a very strong sphere of unbelief, and spread it around, so much so that they wanted to make themselves and others believe contrary to what they saw. And as their unbelief was so great I was given to say to them, Suppose that in the world you had seen some one resuscitated who was lying dead in a coffin. They said that at first they should not have believed unless they had seen many dead persons resuscitated; and if they had seen this, still they would have attributed it to natural causes, And after they had been left awhile to their own thoughts, they said that at first they would have believed it to be a fraud; and when it was proved to be no fraud they would have believed that the soul of the dead person had a secret communication with him who resuscitated it; and finally that there was some secret thing they did not comprehend, because there are very many incomprehensible things in nature; so that they could never have believed that such a thing took place from any force above nature, Hereby was disclosed the nature of their faith that they could never have been brought to believe that there is any life after death, nor that there is a hell, nor that there is a heaven; thus that they were wholly natural. When such persons appear in the light of heaven, they appear without a face, and with a thick mass of hair in place thereof,

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