swedenborg - spiritual diary
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Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at sacred-texts.com
WHY THE EARS SIGNIFY OBEDIENCE. The reason the ears signify obedience, is, because [with] the Celestial, with whom internals are open, all things which they hear about truths and goods, enter into their will and life, and hence they do them; therefore, those things which enter by the ear are, to them, obedience. With the Spiritual it is otherwise. The things which they hear enter into the memory; because internals are not open with them. Those things which enter the life vanish from the memory; they are as it were implanted and natural things, of which they do not know the source. It was afterwards perceived, that that which enters only by the eye, enters into the understanding and lays itself away in the memory; but those things which enter by hearing, enter into the understanding and at the same time into the life; - into the understanding, because through truths into the life.5852.
[A CONVERSATION] WITH BABYLONIANS ABOUT THE LORD. I have often spoken with these about the Lord and about His Divine power, which they have arrogated to themselves, asking whether they are able to think about the Lord without at the same time thinking about His Divine. They at first believed that they could; but they were shown that it was according to the doctrine of their Church that His Divine and Human were so united as are the soul and body, according to the Creed which is called Athanasian; that, namely, like as the soul and body make one man, so the Divine and Human [make] one Christ; and, moreover, that they are not two persons but one: - [I asked] whether, therefore, they are able to think of a man without a soul, or are able to separate it [i.e., the soul], except the body be no longer the man's. To this, they could answer nothing.5853.
Furthermore, [I asked] whether the power they arrogated to themselves was not Divine power; and, moreover, why they say that the Father gave that power to His Human, when, nevertheless, the Divine in the Lord was like the Father's Divine for, according to the same Creed, just as the Father is Eternal, Infinite, Uncreate, Omnipotent, God and Lord, so is the Lord; also, why they do not say that that power is from Him; and many similar things, to which they were unable to answer anything. That that power is Divine, was also stated before; for to save man is Divine, for the operation of the Divine with man is the influx of good and truth through which is salvation.5854.
They said that the Divine then inflows and instills good and truth; but I told them that they are not aware that the operation of saving man by the influx of good and truth goes on continually in the world and afterwards to eternity, and that an evil man cannot by any means be saved, because that is contrary to Divine order. They were also asked what they now believe about the Holy Spirit, since they are in another life, where they can be instructed respecting it. They said that they now know that it is the Divine in heaven, and that it must be pronounced [to be] the holiness which is imparted to the angels. It was, therefore, demanded of them, whether, since they know that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Lord, they did not thence believe that that Divine proceeds from the Lord; and it was pointed out that this is according to the Creed. But, although they were unable to deny this, still they would not agree to it, because they have robbed the Lord of all power.5855.
CONSCIENCE. I have often perceived, and also heard, respecting those who are in the other life, that they are unaware what conscience is; thus, scarcely one in a thousand knew. The angels wondered whence such ignorance was; but the reason was disclosed - that the man of the Church makes good, and thence works, of no moment, and he who makes these things of no account, cannot by any means know what conscience is; for conscience is grief that one has acted contrary to the Divine Commandments, also that one has thought contrary to them. Hence is manifest the quality of the Christian world at this day, that it is almost destitute of religion; for, he who possesses religion, and loves Divine things, has conscience, for he experiences pain if he had thought, intended, and still more if he had done, anything opposed to the Divine. He who has not life for an end, never knows what conscience is, because he has for an end faith only: he inquires what conscience is, and nevertheless he does not comprehend; for his belief is, that a good work contributes nothing to salvation, when, yet, these things are of the life; and the knowledges of faith which are supposed to be believed, are, if not implanted in the life by willing and doing them, only in the memory.5856.
THE DESTRUCTION OF ETHEREAL SPIRITS BY MOHAMMEDANS, BABYLONIANS AND REFORMED. A roving crew of Mohammedans, who were in front in the western quarter towards the southern, began to look towards, and hence to infest, the Christian world; and they had communication with a most wicked Babylonish crew in the west, who were clever at etherealizing themselves, so that they could not be observed by any; with whom, also, some of the Reformed communicated, who, likewise, were skilled in the art of rendering themselves invisible, so that they could be seen by none, though they were among them.5857.
The Mohammedans, conjointly with the Babylonians, began to obsess my left ear, and to place gangs of spirits roundabout, so that they might accomplish their aims; but they did this so insensibly and unnoticeably, that it scarcely came to the sensation. Still, however, they were instantly discovered; and the Mohammedans, who were at the front in the west, were destroyed by the earth where they were rolling over them, and were thus cast down into hell.5858.
Afterwards were discovered the Babylonians who made one with these: they were in a dark corner among the anterior mountains in the west, where is the woman upon the scarlet beast, and a little to the front of those mountains where the Neapolitans and Sicilians are; 5858-1 and, likewise, the mountain upon which the chief ones had their dwellings was there. They invented that art, in order that they might render themselves altogether invisible to everybody, even to one beside them, and this with eminent skill; and those who were upon the mountain were able likewise to hurl themselves upwards, and also to remain in the air; so that they could make themselves aerial beings in order to escape all destruction. But destruction came upon them; and, for several minutes of time, that faculty was taken away from them and they were cast into gulfs and hells roundabout. In the next place, visitation came upon those who were stationed in front and rendered the former ones assistance; and they, also, were cast into hells. The judgment advanced beyond, to those who were farther inwards, and this for a great distance; first, towards the north, and afterwards in a straight line farther into the west, where the Sicilians were, who were all skilled in that art; and they, in like manner, were deprived of that faculty, and were cast into hells near there, in which it appeared fiery and exceedingly dark.5859.
Among these, also, were some who were so expert in that art, that they were able not only to render themselves invisible, but also to bring it to pass that no one could tell where they were, whether in this quarter or in that. They supposed they would thus be secure, and that they could commit every crime without the possibility of discovery. Both the former and the latter communicated with some in the mountains at the front; and all who made one with them were cast into hells. There was, amongst these, a plot, that, when there was a sufficiently great multitude of those like themselves for them to make the attempt, they intended to destroy all things; - this, also, they confessed.5860.
These were preserved, to the end that, through them, all in the Christian world also who were able to render themselves invisible might be discovered; for, through such ones, they are found out. For there were, in the Christian world, among the Reformed, some who ascended by avenues known only to themselves, into
societies where the good Reformed were; and there, as soon as they saw any, they hid themselves, by [making themselves] invisible, so that those who were in the society did not know that they were there. Since these had communication with those Babylonish wretches, they were all discovered, and cast down out of the societies from every direction: they belonged to many societies which looked westward. That art of theirs, by which they rendered themselves invisible, was found out: it was a unique art, which could not be learned, save by some who had contrived various schemes in the world: others were not able to render themselves such.5861.
At length, the destruction reached to the Mohammedans who were forwards at the west; and they were all swallowed up by the earth which was under them; for they looked to the Christian world, which was forbidden to them.5862.
In a word, there was a vast multitude of Babylonians: such as [were] of the Reformed, set up a pain of the hinder part of the loins, roundabout.5863.
There was a certain one who appeared at the left, in the plane of the sole of the foot, whom I believed to be Vice-president Rosenstolpe. I conversed with him on various subjects, about the Lord and on other matters. He embraced all things, as though he were a good Christian: all who heard him supposed that he was such; from his gait and the paths he traversed, nothing else was apparent. It turned out, however, that he was a hypocrite and crafty; for he produced pain in the teeth and temple, and operated under the feet, somewhat towards the genitals; but, s