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CONTINUATION ABOUT INFLUX AND THE INTERCOURSE OF THE SOUL AND THE BODY
AC 6189. That two angels from heaven and two spirits from hell are with man, and that thereby he has communication with both heaven and hell, and also has freedom thereby to turn to the one or to the other, has been shown at the end of chapters 44 and 45. But that each and all things with man flow in according to his freedom - evil from hell, and good from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord - is what man does not know, and therefore will perhaps scarcely believe.
AC 6190. As the subject here treated of is Influx, and this is mentioned so frequently, it is necessary to say in advance what influx is. What is meant by spiritual influx cannot be better seen than by means of the natural influxes which take place and appear in this world - as by the influx of heat from the sun into all things of the earth, with all variety in accordance with the seasons of the year and the climates of the earth; and by the influx of light into the same, with all variety likewise in accordance with the times of the days and also of the years, also in a varied manner according to the climates. From the influx of heat from the sun into all things of the earth, whence comes vegetative life; and from the influx of light into the same, whence comes support to that life, and also colors and displays of beauties; in like manner from the influx of the same heat into the surface of our bodies, and also of light into the eye; likewise from the influx of sound into the ear; and from other instances of a similar kind, it may be comprehended what is the influx of life from the Lord, who is the Sun of heaven, from whom come heavenly heat, which is the good of love, and heavenly light, which is the truth of faith. The influx of these is also plainly felt, for heavenly heat which is love produces the vital heat which is in man, and heavenly light which is faith produces his understanding, because the truth of faith which proceeds from the Lord enlightens his intellectual; but in both cases with much variety, for it is according to the reception on the part of man.
AC 6191. That man is governed by the Lord by means of angels and spirits, has been given me to know by experience so manifest as not to leave even the smallest doubt concerning it; for now through a course of many years all my thoughts and all my affections, even to the most minute of all, have flowed in by means of spirits and angels. This it has been given me to perceive so plainly that nothing could be more plain; for I have perceived, I have seen, and I have heard, who they were, what was their quality, and where they were. And when anything adverse fell into my thought or will, I have spoken with them and chided them. And I have also observed that the power they had of infusing such things was restrained by the angels; and also in what manner; and likewise often that they were driven away, and that then new spirits were present in their place, from whom again there was influx. It has also been given me to perceive whence those spirits came, or of what societies they were the subjects; and an opportunity of speaking with those societies themselves has likewise frequently been granted. And notwithstanding that everything, even to the most minute, of the thoughts and affections, flowed in through the spirits and angels, still I thought as before, and willed as before, and conversed with men as before, no difference from my former life being observed by anyone I am aware that scarcely anyone will believe that such is the fact, but still it is an eternal verity.
AC 6192. It has been shown me to the life in what manner spirits flow in with man. When they come to him, they put on all things of his memory, thus all things which the man has learned and imbibed from infancy, and the spirits suppose these things to be their own. Thus they act as it were the part of the man in the man. But they are not allowed to enter further with a man than to his interiors which are of the thought and will, and not to the exteriors which are of the actions and speech; for these latter come into act by means of a general influx from the Lord without the mediation of particular spirits and angels. But although the spirits act the part of the man with a man in respect to those things which are of his thought and will, they nevertheless do not know that they are with a man, for the reason that they possess all things of his memory, and believe that these are not another’s, but their own; and this for the reason also that they may not injure the man. For unless the spirits from hell who are with a man believed these things to be their own, they would attempt in every way to destroy the man both body and soul, because this is the infernal delight itself.
AC 6193. As in this way spirits possess all things of a man‘s thought and will, and angels things which are still more interior, and as the man is thus most closely conjoined with them, therefore the man must necessarily perceive and feel that it is he himself who thinks and wills; for the communications in the other life are of such a nature that in a society containing similar spirits each one believes that to be his own which is another’s. And therefore when the good come into heavenly society, they at once enter into all the intelligence and wisdom of that society, insomuch that they know no otherwise than that these are in themselves. And such also is the case with a man, and with a spirit who is attendant upon him. The things which flow in from the spirits who are from hell are evils and falsities, but those which flow in from the angels who are from heaven are goods and truths. Thus by means of influxes opposite to each other the man is kept in the midst, thus in freedom. As the things which flow in from the angels, flow in through the more inward interiors, they are not so apparent to the outward sense as are those which flow in from evil spirits. Moreover the angels are of such a character that they never desire to hear that the influxes of good and truth are from themselves, but that they are from the Lord, and they are indignant if it is thought otherwise; for they are in the manifest perception that it is so, and they love nothing more than to will and think not from themselves, but from the Lord. On the other hand, evil spirits are angry if told that they do not think and will from themselves, because this is contrary to the delight of their loves; and they are more angry when told that life is not in them, but that it flows in. When this is shown them by experience to the life, which has often been done, they then indeed confess that it is so, for they cannot speak contrary to experience; but still after some delay they deity it, and then they are not willing that it should be any further confirmed by experience.
AC 6194. It has sometimes happened that I have meditated by myself, and have also talked with others, without reflecting that spirits were present who excited these activities. But directly afterward the spirits accosted me, and told me the state in which they had then been, namely, that they knew no otherwise than that they were the ones who were thinking, and this in my case in such a manner that the nearest believed themselves to be absolutely those who were thinking, but the more remote less so, and they who were still more remote, still less so. And it was also shown what societies flowed into the spirits as into their subjects.
AC 6195. There were spirits with me a long time, neither very good nor very evil, a little above the head. They had the power to inflow deeply into the affections, and because they so willed, after a while they entered, and then bound themselves with me in such a manner that it seemed as if they could scarcely be separated. I spoke with them in regard to this, saying that they ought to separate themselves; but they could not. then they attempted it, and separated themselves a little, they then so dulled my thoughts that I could not think except confusedly and disconnectedly, and a painful sensation was felt in my head, like that with those who fall into a swoon. By this it was made evident in what manner loves conjoin, and that thereby is the conjunction of all in the other life. Wherefore spirits who enter into the very affections possess the other, as is also the case In the world then a man favors another‘s love; whereas truths do not conjoin, but the affections of truth. From this it was made evident to me how man is conjoined either with heaven or with hell, namely, by means of his loves; with hell by means of the loves of self and of the world, but with heaven by means of the loves of the neighbor and of God. It was also evident that a man bound to hell can in no wise be loosed therefrom except through Divine means by the Lord; as was also shown from those who were bound with me only by slight affections, and yet I was not loosed from them except by means of intermediate loves, whereby they were gradually conjoined with others. And as they were separated they appeared to be removed to a distance from me toward the left In front, and the separation was observed by means of changes of state of the affections; for as the affections were changed, so they receded. From this it is also evident whence come the appearances of distance in the other life.
AC 6196. That spirits are associated with a man in accordance with his loves, has been made known to me by manifold experience, for as soon as I have begun to intensely love anything, spirits were present who were In such love, and they were not removed until the love ceased.
AC 6197. As often as anything has fallen into my thought and the desires of my will, the source of which I have not known, so often when I have desired to know the source, I have been shown from what societies it came, and sometimes through what spirits as subjects. They have also then spoken with me, and confessed that they were thinking that thing, and likewise that they knew that it flowed in with me and appeared to me as in myself. The deceitful, who appear directly above the head, have occasionally flowed in with me with such subtlety that I knew not whence the influx was, and also that I scarcely perceived any otherwise than that what flowed in was in myself and from myself, as is usual with others. But as I knew of a certainty that it was from another source, perception was given me by the Lord so exquisite that I perceived each single influx from them, also where they were and who they were. When they observed this, they were very indignant, especially because I reflected upon what came from them. This reflection flowed in through angels. Those deceitful ones chiefly insinuated such things as were contrary to the Lord; and then it was given me to reflect upon the fact that no one in hell acknowledges the Lord; but that in so far as they may, they are full of abuse of Him; yet they are not unwilling to hear mention made of the Father, the Creator of the universe. From this very plain indication it is evident that it is the Lord who rules the universal heaven, as He Himself teaches in Matthew:
"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18);
and that they are opposed to the Lord because they are opposed to heaven, where the Lord is all in all.
AC 6198. There were spirits with me who supposed that it was they themselves who live, and that I had life from no other source than they, thus that they were I. But when they were told that they were separate spirits, and that I also was a spirit as to my interiors: this they could not believe. That they might know it, they were separated, and in this way it was shown that they were spirits by themselves. But still they were unwilling to believe, and were obstinately insistent. They went away for a time, and when they returned they were in the same persuasion. From this also it is evident that spirits know no otherwise than that the things appertaining to man are their own. But such as obstinately believe so are not readily admitted to men, because they cannot be separated without difficulty. A like persuasion is indeed impressed on all other spirits, to the intent that they may be of service to man, but with a difference.
AC 6199. Another spirit also supposed himself to be me, insomuch that when he talked with me In my native language he believed that he was speaking from his own, saying that the language was his. But it was shown that the language that belongs to spirits is entirely different, and that it is the universal language of all, and that from it ideas flowed into my native language, and thus they speak, not from themselves, but in me; and that this is a proof that they not only come Into those things which are man’s, but also that they suppose them to be their own.
AC 6200. As I have been now continuously for nine years in company with spirits and angels, I have carefully observed how the case is with regard to influx. While I have been thinking, the material ideas of my thought appeared as it were In the middle of a kind of undulation , and I noticed that this undulation was nothing else than such things as had been adjoined to that subject in the memory, and that the full thought appears in this way to the spirits; but that nothing else then comes to the man‘s apprehension than that which is In the middle and which had appeared as material. I have likened that surrounding undulation to spiritual wings, by which the thing thought of is elevated out of the memory. From this the man has perception of a subject. That in that surrounding undulation there were innumerable things which agreed with the subject thought of, was made evident to me from the fact that the spirits who were in a more subtile sphere thereby knew all those things which I had ever known on that subject; and thus that they fully imbibe and put on all things which belong to the man; and genii, who attend solely to the cupidities and affections, imbibe and put on those things which are of the loves. To illustrate this by an example. When I thought of a man whom I know, then the idea of him, such as it appears when his name is mentioned before a man, was presented in the midst; but round about, like an undulating volatile something (undans volatile), was everything that I had known and thought about him from childhood; whereby the whole of him, such as he was in my thought and affection, appeared among the spirits In an instant. Moreover when I have been thinking about any city, then from that undulating sphere that was round about, the spirits instantly knew all that I had seen and known about it. The case was the same with matters of science.
AC 6201. The thought appeared in this way among the spirits when I was a little withdrawn from the things of sense. But when the thought was in the things of sense, no such undulating sphere appeared; but it was all material, and not unlike external sight. In this case the man is said to think in the sensuous. But when he thinks interiorly, he is said to be withdrawn from the things of sense. That man can be withdrawn from things of sense was known to the ancients, and therefore also some of them have written about this state. They who think in things of sense are called sensuous, and the like spirits are adjoined to them. Such spirits scarcely apprehend more things with a man than those which come down to his sensation; for they are more gross than all other spirits. It has been observed that when a man is in what is sensuous, and is not elevated therefrom, he thinks of nothing else than what is of the body and of the world, and is not then desirous to know anything about what belongs to eternal life, and is even averse to hearing of that life.
 That I might know that this is the case, have sometimes been let down into what is sensuous, and then such things instantly presented themselves, and then also the spirits who were in that grosser sphere poured in base and scandalous things; but as soon as I was withdrawn from what is sensuous, such things were dissipated. In sensuous life are many who indulge in the pleasures of the body, and also those who have altogether rejected thought beyond what they see and hear, and especially those who have rejected thought about eternal life. Wherefore such persons make light of all such things; and when they hear of them, they loathe them. Spirits of this kind abound in the other life at the present day, for troops of them come from the world; and the influx from them prompts man to indulge his natural inclination, and to live for himself and the world, but not for others except in so far as they favor him and his pleasures. In order for a man to be uplifted from these spirits, he must think about eternal life.
AC 6202. Another influx has also been observed, which is not effected through the spirits who are with the man, but through others who are sent forth from some infernal society into the sphere of the man’s life. These speak together about such things as are adverse to the man, from which there usually flows in what is troublesome, undelightful, sad, or anxious, with much variety. Such spirits have often been with me, and they who infused anxieties were felt in the province of the stomach, without my knowing whence these anxieties came. But they were always detected, and I then heard what they said among themselves, which were such things as were adverse to my affections. The avaricious have sometimes appeared in the same region, but a little higher, and infused anxiety from care for the future; and it was given me to chide them and tell them that they have relation to such things in the stomach as are undigested, have a bad smell, and thus are nauseous. I have also seen that they were driven away, and that then the anxiety entirely ceased, and this repeatedly, that I might know of a certainty that it came from them. Such is the influx with those who for no reason are oppressed with melancholy anxiety, and likewise with those who are in spiritual temptation. But in this latter case such spirits not only inflow in general, but also infernal spirits in particular call up the evils which the man has done, and pervert and put a wrong Interpretation upon the goods. With these the angels then engage in combat. Into such a state comes a man who is being regenerated, whereby he is let down into his own; and this takes place when he immerses himself too much in worldly and bodily things, and when he is to be elevated to spiritual things.
AC 6203. In regard to the origin of the influx of evil from hell, the case is this. When a man first from consent, then from purpose, and at last from the delight of affection, casts himself into evil, then a hell is opened which is in such evil (for the hells are distinct from one another according to evils and all their varieties), and there afterward takes place an influx from that hell. When a man comes into evil in this way, it clings to him, for the hell in the sphere of which he then is, is in its very delight when in its evil; and therefore it does not desist, but obstinately presses in, and causes the man to think about that evil, at first occasionally, and afterward as often as anything presents itself which is related to it, and at last it becomes with him that which reigns universally. And when this takes place, he then seeks for such things as confirm that it is not an evil, and this until he wholly persuades himself; and then, in so far as he can, he studies to remove external bonds, and makes evils allowable and clever, and at last even becoming and honorable - such as adulteries, thefts effected by art and deceit, various kinds of arrogance and boasting, contempt for others, vituperations, persecutions under an appearance of justice, and the like. The case with these evils is like that with downright thefts, which when committed of set purpose two or three times, cannot be desisted from; for they continually cling to the man‘s thought.
AC 6204. Be it known further that the evil which enters into the thought does no harm to the man, because evil is continually infused by spirits from hell, and is continually repelled by angels. But when evil enters into the will, then it does harm, for then it also goes forth into act whenever external bonds do not restrain. Evil enters into the will by being kept In the thought, by consent, especially by act and the consequent delight.
AC 6205. I have often noticed that evil spirits put on especially man’s persuasions and cupidities, and that when they put them on they rule the man despotically; for he who introduces himself into a man‘s cupidities, and into his persuasions, subjects the man to himself, and makes him his servant; whereas influx through angels takes place in accordance with the man’s affections, which they gently lead and bend to good, and do not break, the very influx being tacit and scarcely perceptible, for it flows into the interiors, and continually acts by means of freedom.
AC 6206. Be it further known that all evil flows In from hell, and all good through heaven from the Lord. But the reason why evil is appropriated to a man is that he believes and persuades himself that he thinks and does it from himself, and in this way makes it his own. If he believed as is really the case, then evil would not be appropriated to him, but good from the Lord would be appropriated to him; for the moment that evil flowed In, he would reject that it was from the evil spirits with him, and as soon as he thought this, the angels would avert and reject it. For the influx of the angels is into what a man knows and believes, but not into what a man does not know and does not believe; for their influx is not fixed anywhere except where there is something appertaining to the man.
 When a man appropriates evil to himself In this way, he gets for himself a sphere of that evil, which sphere is that to which those spirits from hell adjoin themselves who are in the sphere of a like evil; for like is conjoined with like. The spiritual sphere with a man or a spirit is an exhalation Bowing forth from the life of his loves, from which his quality is known at a distance. All in the other life are conjoined together in accordance with the spheres, and so also are the societies one with another; and according to their spheres they are also dissociated, for opposite spheres come Into collision, and mutually repel each other. Therefore the spheres of the loves of evil are all in hell, and the spheres of the loves of good are all in heaven; that is, they who are in these spheres.
AC 6207. The influx of the angels is especially into the conscience of man: there is the plane Into which they operate. This plane is In the Interiors of man. Conscience is twofold, interior and exterior. Interior conscience is of spiritual good and truth; exterior conscience is of justice and equity. At the present day this latter conscience exists with many; but interior conscience with few. Nevertheless they who enjoy exterior conscience are saved in the other life; for they are of such a character that if they act contrary to what is good and true, or contrary to what is just and equitable, they are inwardly distressed and tormented; not because by so doing they suffer loss of honor, of gain, or of reputation; but because they have acted contrary to good and truth, or to justice and equity. But where these consciences do not exist, there is something else of a very low nature which sometimes counterfeits conscience, and which leads men to do what is true and good, and what is just and equitable, not from the love of these, but for the sake of self and their own honor and advantage. These persons also are distressed and tormented when adverse things befall them. But this conscience is no conscience, because it belongs to the love of self and of the world, and there is nothing in it which regards the love of God and of the neighbor; and therefore - in the other life it does not show itself. Men of this description can also perform duties of considerable eminence, like those who enjoy genuine conscience; for in the external form they act in a similar way; but for the sake of their own honor and reputation; and therefore the more they fear the loss of these, the better do they perform public duties in favor of their neighbor and of their country; whereas those who do not fear the loss of these things are members of the commonwealth who are worthy only of rejection. They who are in this false conscience do not even know what conscience is, and when they are told by others what it is, they deride it and believe it to be the result of simplicity or of mental disorder. These things have been said in order that it may be known how the case is with influx, namely, that conscience is the plane into which the angels flow, and indeed into the affections of good and truth, and of justice and equity therein; and that in this way they hold the man bound, yet still in freedom.
AC 6208. There are many who enjoy an hereditary natural good, by virtue of which they feel delight in doing well to others, but who have not been imbued with principles of doing what is good, either from the Word, the doctrine of the church, or from their religiosity. Thus they could not be endowed with any conscience, for conscience does not come from natural or hereditary good, but from the doctrine of truth and good and a life in accordance therewith. When such persons come into the other life, they marvel that they are not received into heaven, saying that they have led a good life. But they are told that a good life from what is natural or hereditary is not a good life, but that a good life is from those things which belong to the doctrine of good and truth and the consequent life; for by means of these, men have principles impressed on them that concern what is true and good, and they receive conscience, which is the plane into which heaven flows. In order that such persons may know that this is the case, they are sent into various societies, and they then suffer themselves to be led astray into evils of every kind, by mere reasonings and the derivative persuasions that evils are goods and goods evils, and in this way they are persuaded in every direction, and are carried away like chaff before the wind; for they are devoid of principles, and also of a plane into which the angels may operate and withdraw them from evils.
AC 6209. The influx of the angels with a man is not noticed as is the influx of spirits, for that which inflows from the angels is not material, but is spiritual, and all appears like a stream of air (fluviatile aereum); from the interior angels, like a luminous one; and from the still more Interior angels, like a flaming one. Of the Lord‘s Divine mercy more shall be said about this at the end of the following chapters.
AC 6210. It has sometimes happened that I was earnestly thinking about worldly things, and about such things as give great concern to most persons, namely, about possessions, the acquirement of riches, about pleasures, and the like. At these times I noticed that I was sinking down into what is sensuous and that in proportion as my thought was immersed in such things, I was removed from the company of the angels. By this it was also made plain to me that they who are deeply immersed in such cares cannot have intercourse with those who are in the other life. For when such thoughts possess the whole of the mind, they carry the lower mind downward, and are like weights which drag it down; and when they are regarded as the end, they remove the man from heaven, to which he cannot be elevated except by means of the good of love and of faith. This was made still more manifest to me from the fact that once when I was led through the abodes of heaven, and was at the time in a spiritual idea, it happened that I suddenly began to sink into thought about worldly things, and then all that spiritual idea was dissipated and became as naught.
AC 6211. I have sometimes wondered why speech and action are not directed by means of particular spirits, as are thought and will; but I was instructed that speech follows from thought, and action from will, and that this flows from order, thus by means of general influx. Nevertheless spirits are allotted to each member of speech, and to each member of action; but these spirits are not aware of it. General influx is a continuous endeavor from the Lord through the universal heaven into everything pertaining to the life of man.
AC 6212. It is known from the Word that there was an influx from the world of spirits and from heaven Into the prophets, partly by dreams, partly by visions, and partly by speech; and also with some into the very speech and into the very gestures, thus into the things that belong to the body; and that at the time they did not speak from themselves, nor act from themselves, but from the spirits who were then in possession of their bodies. At such times some of them behaved like insane persons, as did Saul when he lay naked; others when they wounded themselves; others when they put horns on themselves, and others in similar ways.
 And as I longed to know In what manner these men were actuated by spirits, I was shown by means of a living experience. To this end I was for a whole night possessed by spirits, who so took possession of my bodily things that I had only a very obscure sensation that it was my own body. When these spirits came, they appeared like little clouds heaped together into various forms, for the most part pointed; the little clouds were black. In the morning I saw a chariot with a pair of horses, in which a man was being conveyed. Afterward I saw a horse on which some one was sitting, who was thrown off from the horse backward, and there lay while the horse was kicking. Afterward another was seen seated on a horse. They were noble horses.
 After these things were seen, the angels told me what they signified, namely, that the chariot in which the man was, signified the spiritual sense that was in the prophetical things that were uttered, and which these represented; that the horse which threw his rider and kicked, signified the Jewish and Israelitish people with whom were these things, that people being solely in externals, and therefore the intellectual rejected them, and as it were by kicking put them away; and that the other sitting on the horse signified the intellectual with those who are in the internal sense of the prophetic Word.
 From this state, in which I was during the night until morning, I was instructed how the prophets, through whom spirits spake and acted, were possessed; namely, that the spirits had possession of their bodies, insomuch that scarcely anything was left except that they knew that they existed. There were certain spirits appointed to this use, who did not desire to obsess men, but merely to enter into the man’s bodily affections; and when they entered into these, they entered into all things of the body. The spirits who were usually with me said that I was absent from them while I remained in this state.
 The spirits who possessed my body, as formerly the bodies of the prophets, afterward talked with me, and said that at the time they knew no otherwise than that they had life as when in the body, besides saying much more. I was told further that there were also other influxes with the prophets, to enable them to be at their own disposal, and to use their own thought, only that spirits spake with them, for the most part at that time within them; but that this influx was not into the thought and the will, but was merely a discourse that came to their hearing.
AC 6213. That hell through its spirits continually injects evil and falsity, and that these spirits pervert and extinguish truths and goods, and that the Lord through the angels continually averts, removes, mitigates, and moderates these efforts, has been made so familiar to me by the almost continual experience of many years, that I cannot even think of any doubt. But in order that the angels may be able to avert the influxes from hell, there must be in the man truths of faith joined to good of life into which they may flow. These must be the plane into which they may operate. But if a man have no such things, he is carried away by hell, and then the Lord through angels rules him as to externals, which are called external bonds, which belong to the man‘s own prudence, in order that he may appear in external form as a lover of his neighbor and his country; but only for the sake of his own honor, of his own advantage, of reputation for the sake of these, of the fear of the penalties of the law, and also of death. These are the external bonds by which a man is ruled, when there are no internal bonds which are of conscience. But these external bonds are of no avail in the other life, for they are taken away from the man, and when they are taken away he appears such as he had been inwardly.
AC 6214. How difficult it is for man to believe that spirits know his thoughts, was made evident to me by the following circumstance. Before I spoke with spirits it happened that a certain spirit said a few words to me about that of which I was thinking. It amazed me that a spirit should know this; because I supposed that such things were hidden, and known only to God. Afterward, when I began to speak with spirits, I was indignant that I could not think anything that they did not know, and because this would be troublesome to me. But after I had been accustomed to it for a few days it became familiar to me. At last I found that spirits not only perceive all things of man’s thought and will, but also many more things than the man himself perceives; and that the angels perceive still more, namely the intentions and ends, from the first through the middle to the last; and that the Lord knows not only the quality of the whole man, but also what his quality will be to eternity. From this it is evident that nothing whatever is hidden; but that what a man inwardly thinks and plots is In the other life made manifest as in clear day.
AC 6215. A continuation about influx and the intercourse of the soul and the body will be found at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page