Spiritual background for GENESIS 45previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE ANGELS AND SPIRITS WITH MAN
AC 5976. At the end of the preceding chapter it was shown that there are with every man two spirits from hell and two angels from heaven, who effect communication both ways, and also that the man is in freedom.
AC 5977. That there are two, is because there are two kinds of spirits in hell and two kinds of angels in heaven, to which the two faculties in man, namely, the will and the understanding, correspond. Spirits of the one kind are called simply spirits and act into what is of the understanding. Those of the other kind are called genii and act into what is of the will. The two kinds are also most distinct from each other. They who are called simply spirits infuse falsities, for they reason against truth and are in the delight of their life when they can make what is true appear as false, and what is false appear as true. But they who are called genii infuse evils, act into the affections and concupiscences of a man, and scent in a moment what the man desires. If this is good, they bend it most cunningly into evil, and are in the delight of their life when they can make good to be perceived as evil, and evil as good. It was permitted them to act into my desires, that I might know of what nature they are and how they act, and I can avouch that unless the Lord had guarded me by angels they would have perverted my desires into concupiscences of evil, and this in a manner so hidden and silent that I should scarcely have noticed anything about it. These latter, who are called genii, have nothing at all in common with those who are called spirits. The genii have no concern as to what a man thinks, but only as to what he loves; whereas the spirits have no concern about what a man loves, but about what he thinks. The genii vest their delight in being silent, but the spirits in speaking. The two are also altogether separated from each other. The genii are in the hells deep down behind, and are invisible there to the spirits; and when anyone looks in there, they appear like flitting shadows. But the spirits are in the hells at the sides and in front. This then is the reason why there are with man two spirits from hell.
AC 5978. That there are two angels with every man is because of these also there are two kinds, of which one act into what is of man‘s will, and the other into what is of his understanding. They who act into what is of man’s will, act into his loves and ends, consequently into his goods. But they who act into what is of man‘s understanding, act into his faith and principles, consequently into his truths. These two kinds also are most distinct from each other. They who act into what is of man’s will are called celestial, and they who act into what is of his understanding are called spiritual. To the celestial are opposed the genii, and to the spiritual the spirits. These things it has been given me to know by much experience, for I am continually in company and discourse with them both.
AC 5979. A man who is in faith believes that none but angels from heaven are with him, and that diabolical spirits are altogether removed from him. But I can assert that in the case of a man who is in the concupiscences and delights of the love of self and of the world, and regards these as the end, diabolical spirits are so near him as to be in him, and to rule both his thoughts and his affections. Angels from heaven cannot possibly be within the sphere of such, but are without; and therefore the angels recede as the infernal spirits approach nearer. Nevertheless the angels from heaven in no case recede altogether from a man, for then all would be over with him, because if he should be without communication with heaven by means of angels, he could not live.
 That there are infernal spirits and heavenly angels with man is also in some measure taught by the doctrine of faith of Christian Churches; for this declares that all good is from God, and that evil is from the devil; and preachers confirm this by their prayers in the pulpit that God may direct their thoughts and their words, and by their saying that in justification all endeavors, even the least, are from God; and also that when a man lives well he suffers himself to be led by God; and likewise that angels are sent by God to minister to man. And on the other hand, when a man has committed any enormous evil, they say he has suffered himself to be led by the devil, and that such evil is from hell. They would also have said that spirits from hell were flowing into the interior evils which are of the will and the thought, if they had acknowledged these evils to be so great.
AC 5980. The angels attentively and continually observe what the evil spirits and genii with a man are intending and attempting; and in so far as the man suffers it, they bend evils into goods, or to goods, or toward goods.
AC 5981. There sometimes appears to view with infernal spirits and genii things shameful and filthy, and in fact such things as an evil man thinks and speaks. Lest on account of such things the angels should flee away altogether, these shameful and filthy things are perceived by them as being milder than they really are. In order that I might know how such things are perceived by the angels, when shameful things presented themselves there was given me the angelic perception, which was such that I felt no horror. The shameful things were turned into a mildness such as cannot be described, but can only be compared to things angular and pungent when the angularity and pungency are taken away from them. In this way the shameful and filthy things of infernal spirits and genii are dulled with the angels.
AC 5982. By means of evil spirits on the one hand and angels on the other, the Lord places a man in equilibrium between evils and goods, and between falsities and truths, so that the man may be in freedom. For in order that a man may be saved he must be in freedom, and in freedom be drawn away from evil and led to good. Whatever is not effected in freedom does not remain, because it is not appropriated. This freedom is from the equilibrium in which the man is kept.
AC 5983. That man has communication with hell and with heaven through the two spirits and the two angels, may be seen from the fact that in the other life one society cannot have communication with another, or with anyone, except through spirits who are sent forth by the societies. These emissary spirits are called Subjects, for through them as subjects the societies speak. To send forth subjects to other societies, and in this way to get communication, is one of the familiar things of the other life, and is very well known to me from the fact that subjects have been sent to me a thousand times, and that without them the societies could not know anything appertaining to me, and could communicate to me nothing appertaining to themselves. This shows that the spirits and genii with man are nothing but subjects through whom he has communication with hell, and that the celestial and spiritual angels are subjects through whom he has communication with the heavens.
AC 5984. When the spirits who are in the world of spirits desire to have communication with a number of societies, they are wont to send forth subjects, one to each society. And I have observed that evil spirits sent out many round about and stationed them like a spider setting its web, the senders being in the middle. And to my surprise they know how to do this as from a kind of instinct; for they who had known nothing of such things in the life of the body, do it at once in the other life. From this also it is evident that communications are effected through emissary spirits.
AC 5985. A Subject is one in whom are concentrated the thoughts and speech of many, and in this way many are presented as one. And as a subject thinks and speaks nothing whatever from himself, but from others, and the thoughts and speech of others are there presented to the life, therefore they who flow in suppose that the subject is as it were nothing and scarcely animate, being merely a receptive of their thought and speech. But on the other hand the subject supposes that he does not think and speak from others, but from himself alone. Thus fallacies delude both. It has often been given me to say to a subject that he thinks and speaks nothing from himself, but from others; and also that those others suppose that a subject cannot think and speak anything from himself; thus that he appears to them like one in whom there is nothing of life from himself. Upon hearing this the spirit who was the subject was very indignant. But in order that he might be convinced of the truth, it was given to speak with the spirits who were flowing in, who then confessed that a subject thinks and speaks nothing whatever from himself, and thus that he appears to them to be something scarcely animate. It also once happened that he who said that a subject is nothing, himself became a subject, and then the rest said of him that he was nothing, at which he was greatly enraged, and yet was thereby instructed how the case is.
AC 5986. It is worthy of mention (for it has often happened and thus been shown) that no one either in heaven or in hell thinks, speaks, wills, and acts from himself, but from others, and thus at last all and each do so from the general influx of life, which is from the Lord. When I have heard the spirits saying that a spirit does not think and speak anything from himself, and yet the subject supposed he did so solely from himself, it has then been frequently given to speak with those who were flowing into the subject; and when they persisted in the assertion that they thought and spoke from themselves, but not so the subject from himself, and because they supposed that they so thought and spoke, it was further given to tell them that this is a fallacy, and that they as well as the subject were thinking and speaking from others. In order to confirm this point, it was also given to speak with those who were flowing into these latter, and when they also made a like confession, it was further given to speak with those who were flowing into these, and so on in a continued series. Thus it became plain that everyone was thinking and speaking from others. This experience excited in the spirits the utmost indignation, for everyone of them desires to think and speak from himself. But because they were thereby instructed how the case is, they were told that everything of thought and also of will flows in, because there is but one only life, from which are these faculties of life; and that this life flows in from the Lord through a wonderful form, which is the heavenly form, not only in a general way into all, but also particularly into each; and that it is varied everywhere according to the form of each subject, as this agrees or disagree with the heavenly form. From all this it is also evident how the case is with man, of which more will be said in what follows, when treating of influx.
AC 5987. The more there are who concentrate their look into one subject, the stronger is the subject‘s power of thinking and speaking. The power is increased according to the increase in number of the concordant looks. This was also shown by the withdrawal of some who were flowing in, for then the subject’s power of thinking and speaking was diminished.
AC 5988. There were subjects with me near the head, who spoke as if they were asleep, but still spoke well, as do they who are not in a state of sleep. It was observed that evil spirits were flowing into these subjects with malignant deceits, but that the influx into them was instantly dissipated; and as the evil spirits knew that these spirits had previously been their subjects, they complained that they were no longer so. The reason was that being asleep good spirits could act into them, and thus by their influx the malignities of the evil spirits were dispelled. Nevertheless the evil spirits were compelled to flow into these subjects and not into others. This shows that there are subjects of different kinds and natures, and that the variations are in accordance with the Lord‘s disposal.
AC 5989. The most deceitful, who are above the head, once took subjects and sent them forth to me, in order that they might flow in with their deceits; but they were much disappointed. One, when made a subject, writhed back and closed himself, and folded himself as in a roll, in order thus to reject the influx. In this way he extricated himself from them. Then they took another, but neither could they force him to speak, he being more deceitful than they, which he showed by rolling himself as it were into the form of a spiral. In this way they were cheated. Moreover evil spirits do not always send forth subjects from their own body, but observe what spirits are with others, and also where are those who are simple and obedient, and these they make their subjects. This is effected by directing their thoughts into the subject spirit, and infusing into him their own affections and persuasions, whereby he is no longer his own master, but serves them as a subject. Of this he is sometimes unaware.
AC 5990. There are very many spirits at this day who desire to flow not only into man’s thoughts and affections, but also into his speech and actions, thus even into the things of his body; when yet the things of the body are exempt from the particular influx of spirits and angels, and are directed by general influx. In other words, when what is thought is determined into speech, and what is willed is determined into acts, the determination and transition into the body are according to order, and are not directed by any spirits in particular; for to flow into man‘s bodily things is to obsess him. The spirits who will and intend this are those who in the life of the body had been adulterers, that is, who had perceived delight in adulteries and had persuaded themselves that they are allowable; and also those who had been cruel. The reason is that both the former and the latter are more corporeal and sensual than all others, and have rejected all thought about heaven, attributing all things to nature and nothing to the Divine. In this way they have closed up interior things against themselves, and have opened external things; and because in the world they had been solely in the love of these, therefore in the other life they long to return into them through man by obsessing him.
 But it is provided by the Lord that such infernals should not come into the world of spirits; they being kept in their bells, well shut up. Therefore there are no external obsessions at this day, but still there are internal ones, also the work of the infernal and diabolical crew; for evil men think such things as are filthy and also cruel towards others, and also such as are adverse and malignant toward what is Divine; and unless such thoughts were kept in check by fear of the loss of honor, of gain, and of reputation on account of these, of legal penalties, and of the loss of life, they would burst forth openly, and thus such men would rush more than the obsessed into the destruction of others, and into blasphemies against the things of faith. But these external bonds cause them not to seem to be obsessed, although they are so as to their interiors, but not as to their exteriors. This is very manifest from such as they in the other life, where external bonds are removed. There they are devils, being continually in the delight and desire of ruining others and destroying whatever is of faith.
AC 5991. I saw spirits who must be called bodily spirits. They rose up from the deep, at the side of the sole of the right foot. They appeared to the sight of my spirit as if in a gross body; and when I asked who they are that are like this, it was said that they are those who in the world have excelled in talent, and also in the sciences, and have thereby utterly confirmed themselves against the Divine, thus against those things which are of the church; and because they have fully persuaded themselves that all things are of nature, they have more than others closed their interiors, thus all that belongs to the spirit. Hence they appear grossly corporeal. Among them was one whom I had known during his life in the world, and who then was celebrated for his talents and his learning. But these gifts, which are means of thinking well about Divine things, were to him means of thinking against them, and of persuading himself that they are of no account; for he who excels in talent and learning excels also in the means of confirmation. Hence he had been interiorly obsessed, but in the external form he had appeared as a man of civic and moral virtues.
AC 5992. The angels, through whom the Lord leads and also protects a man. are near his head. It is their office to inspire charity and faith, and to observe in what direction the man’s delights turn, and in so far as they can, without interfering with the man‘s freedom, moderate them and bend them to good. They are forbidden to act with violence and thus break the man’s cupidities and principles; but are enjoined to act gently. It is also their office to rule the evil spirits who are from hell, which is done in innumerable ways, of which the following only may be mentioned. When the evil spirits pour in evils and falsities, the angels insinuate truths and goods, which, if not received, are nevertheless the means of tempering. Infernal spirits continually attack, and the angels protect; such is the order.
 The angels especially regulate the affections, for these make the man‘s life, and also his freedom. The angels also observe whether any hells are open that were not open before, and from which there is influx with the man, which takes place when the man brings himself into any new evil. These hells the angels close so far as the man allows, and remove any spirits who attempt to emerge therefrom. They also disperse strange and new influxes that produce evil effects.
 Especially do the angels call forth the goods and truths that are with a man, and set them in opposition to the evils and falsities which the evil spirits excite. Thus the man is in the midst, and does not perceive either the evil or the good; and being in the midst, he is in freedom to turn himself either to the one or to the other. By such means do angels from the Lord lead and protect a man, and this every moment, and every moment of a moment; for if the angels were to intermit their care for a single moment, the man would be precipitated into evil from which he could never afterward be brought out. These things the angels do from the love they have from the Lord, for they perceive nothing more delightful and happy than to remove evils from a man, and lead him to heaven. That this is a joy to them, see (Luke 15:7). Scarcely any man believes that the Lord takes such care of a man, and this continually from the first thread of his life to the last of it, and afterward to eternity.
AC 5993. From all this it is now evident that for a man to have communication with the spiritual world there must be joined to him two spirits from hell and two angels from heaven, and that without these he would have no life whatever. For a man cannot possibly live from general influx, as do animals void of reason (n. 5850); because his whole life is contrary to order; and being in this state, if a man were acted on by general influx only, he would necessarily be acted on by the hells only, and not from the heavens; and if he were not acted on from the heavens he would have no interior life, thus no life of thought and will such as is proper to man, and not even such as is proper to a brute animal, because a man is born without any use of reason, and can be initiated into it solely through influx from the heavens.
 From all that has been advanced it is also evident that a man cannot live without communication with the hells through spirits from them, for the whole of his life which be derives from his parents by inheritance, and all that he himself adds from his own, is of the love of self and of the world, and not of the love of the neighbor, and still less of love to God. And as the whole of man’s life from his own is of the love of self and of the world, it is therefore a life of contempt for others in comparison with self, and of hatred and revenge against all who do not favor self. Thus it is also a life of cruelty; for he who hates, desires to kill, and is therefore most highly delighted with the destruction of others. Unless spirits of a like nature were applied to these evils (and such spirits must be from hell), and unless the man were led by them in accordance with the delights of his life, he could not possibly be bent toward heaven. At first he is bent by means of his delights themselves; and by these is also set in freedom, thus at last in the faculty of exercising choice.previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page