Sacred Texts  Swedenborg  Index  Previous  Next 

Earths in the Universe, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758], tr. by John Whitehead [1892] at

Earths in the Universe


They related further that another kind of spirits, who go in companies, frequently come to them, desiring to know how things are with them; and that by various methods they draw out from them whatever they know. They said concerning these spirits, that they were not insane, only in this, that they desire to know so much for no other use than to know. They were afterwards instructed that these spirits were from the planet Mercury, or the earth nearest the sun, and that they are delighted with knowledges alone, and not so much with their uses.


The inhabitants and spirits of the planet Saturn have relation in the Greatest Man, to the middle sense between the spiritual and the natural man, but to that which recedes from the natural and accedes to the spiritual. Hence it is that those spirits appear to be carried or snatched away into heaven, and presently to be let back again; for whatever appertains to the spiritual sense is in heaven; but whatever appertains to the natural sense is beneath heaven. Inasmuch as the spirits of our earth, in the Greatest Man have relation to natural and corporeal sense, it was given me to know by manifest experience how the spiritual man and the natural fight and strive with each other, when the latter is not in faith and charity. The spirits of the earth Saturn came from afar into view, and there was then opened a living communication between them and such spirits of our earth. The latter, on thus perceiving the former, became as if insane, and began to infest them, by infusing unworthy suggestions concerning faith, and also concerning the Lord; and whilst abusing them with these invectives and insults, they also cast themselves into the midst of them, and from the insanity in which they were, they endeavored to do evil to them. But the spirits of Saturn feared nothing, because they were secure and in tranquillity; whereas the spirits of our earth, when they were in the midst of them, began to be tortured, and to respire with difficulty, and so they cast themselves out, one in this way and another that, till they all disappeared. The spirits who were present perceived from this, what is the quality of the natural man when separate from the spiritual, and when he comes into a spiritual sphere, namely, that he is insane; for the natural man separate from the spiritual is wise only from the world, and not from heaven; and he who is wise only from the world, believes nothing but what be can apprehend with his senses, and the things which he believes he believes from the fallacies of the senses, which, unless they are removed by an influx from the spiritual world, produce falsities. Hence it is that spiritual things to him are not anything, insomuch that he can scarcely bear to hear mention made of anything spiritual; wherefore such become insane when they are kept in a spiritual sphere. It is otherwise during their abode in the world, where they either think naturally concerning spiritual things, or avert their ears that they may not hear them; that is, they hear and do not attend. It was also manifest from this experience, that the natural man cannot introduce himself into the spiritual, that is, ascend; but when man is in faith, and thereby in spiritual life, in this case the spiritual man flows into the natural, and thinks therein. For there is given a spiritual influx, that is, an influx from the spiritual world into the natural, but not the reverse. 102-1


I was further informed by the spirits of that earth respecting the inhabitants, what their consociations are, with several other particulars. They said that they live distinguished into families, every family apart by itself; each family consisting of a man and his wife with their children; and the children, when they enter the married state, are separated from the parental house, and have no further care about it. Wherefore the spirits from that earth appear two and two. They are little solicitous about food and raiment, they feed on the fruits and legumes their earth produces; and they are clothed slightly, being encompassed with a coarse skin or coat, which repels the cold. Moreover, all on that earth know that they will live after death; and that on this account also they make light of their bodies, only so far as regards that life, which they say is to remain and serve the Lord. It is for this reason likewise that they do not bury the bodies of the dead, but cast them forth, and cover them with branches of forest trees.


They were asked concerning that great belt, which appears from our earth to rise above the horizon of that planet, and to vary its situations. They said, that it does not appear to them as a belt, but only as a snowy light in the heaven in various directions.


THE EARTH OR PLANET VENUS, ITS SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS. The planet Venus, in the idea of spirits and angels, appears to the left a little backwards, at some distance from our earth. It is said, in the idea of spirits, because neither the sun of this world, nor any planet, appears to any spirit; but spirits have only an idea that they exist. It is in consequence of such idea that the sun of this world is presented behind as something quite dark, and the planets not movable as in the world, but remaining constantly in their several places; see above (n.42).


In the planet Venus there are two kinds of men, of dispositions opposite to each other; the first mild and humane, the second savage and almost like wild beasts. They who are mild and humane appear on the further side of the earth, they who are savage and like wild beasts, appear on the side looking this way. But it is to be known that they appear thus according to the states of their life, for in the spiritual world the state of life determines every appearance of space and of distance.


Some of those who appear on the further side of the planet, and who are mild and humane, came to me and were presented visibly above the head, and I spoke with them on various subjects. Amongst other things, they said that during their abode in the world, and more so since they were become spirits, they acknowledged our Lord as their only God. They added that on their earth they had seen Him, and they represented also how they had seen Him. These spirits in the Greatest Man have relation to the memory of things material, agreeing with the memory of things immaterial, to which the spirits of Mercury have relation: where fore the spirits of Mercury have the fullest agreement with these spirits of Venus, and on this account, when they were together, a remarkable change, and a powerful operation in my brain, was perceivable from their influx; see above (n. 43).


But I did not speak with those spirits who are on the side that looks this way, and who are savage and almost like wild beasts; but I was informed by the angels concerning their quality, and whence they have so fierce a nature. The cause is this, that they are exceedingly delighted with rapine, and more especially with eating their plunder; the delight thence arising, when they think about eating their plunder, was communicated to me, and was perceived to be most extraordinary. That on our earth there have been inhabitants of a like fierce nature, appears from the histories of various nations; also from the inhabitants of the land of Canaan (1 Sam. xxx. 16); and likewise from the Jewish and Israelitish nation, even in the time of David, in that they made yearly excursions, and plundered the Gentiles, and rejoiced in feasting on the spoils. I was informed further, that those inhabitants are for the most part giants, and that the men of our earth reach only to their navels; also that they are stupid, making no inquiries concerning heaven or eternal life, but immersed solely in earthly cares and the care of their cattle.


Because they are such, when they come into the other life they are exceedingly infested there by evils and falsities. The hells, which appertain to them, appear near their earth, and have no communication with the hells of the wicked of our earth, because they differ altogether in genius and disposition: hence also their evils and falsities are altogether of a different sort.


Such, however, amongst them, as can be saved, are in places of vastation, and are there reduced to the last state of desperation; for there is no other method whereby evils and false persuasions of that kind can be subdued and removed. When they are in a state of desperation, they cry out that they are beasts, that they are abominations; that they are hatreds, and that thus they are damned. Some of them, when they are in this state, exclaim even against heaven; but as this proceeds from desperation, it is forgiven them. The Lord moderates that their vituperations, they may not pour them forth except to certain limits. These, when they have passed through extreme suffering, are finally saved, inasmuch as corporeal things with them are as if dead, It was further declared concerning these spirits, that during their life on their earth they believed in a certain Supreme Creator without a Mediator; but when they are saved, they are also instructed that the Lord alone is God, the Savior and Mediator. I have seen some of them, after they have passed through extreme suffering, taken up into heaven; and when they were received there, I have perceived such a tenderness of joy from them as drew tears from my eyes.


THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF THE MOON. Certain spirits appeared above the head, and thence were heard voices like thunder; for they thundered with their voices like the thunder from the clouds after lightning. I asserted that it was a great multitude of spirits, who had the art of uttering voices attended with so loud a noise. The more simple spirits who were with me laughed at them, at which I greatly wondered. The cause of their laughter was presently discovered to be this, that the spirits who thundered were not many, but few, and were also as small as boys; and that before they had terrified them by such noises, and yet were unable to do them any harm. In order that I might know their quality, some of them let themselves down from on high where they were thundering; and what surprised me, one carried another on his back, and thus two of them approached me. Their faces appeared not unhandsome, but longer than the faces of other spirits. Their stature was like the stature of boys seven years old, but more robust; thus they were dwarfs. It was told me by the angels, that they were from the Moon. He who was carried on the other's back, on coming to me, applied himself to my left side under the elbow, and thence spoke with me, saying that whenever they utter their voices they thus thunder; and that thereby they terrify the spirits who wish to do them evil; and put some to flight, and that thus they go with security whithersoever they will. That I might know certainly that they made this sound, be retired from me to some others, but not entirely out of sight, and thundered in like manner. They showed, moreover, that the voice being uttered from the abdomen, like an eructation, made this thundering sound. It was perceived that this was owing to the fact, that the inhabitants of the Moon do not speak from the lungs like the inhabitants of other earths, but from the abdomen, and thus from some air there collected, by reason that the Moon is not encompassed with an atmosphere like that of other earths. I was instructed that the spirits of the Moon, in the Greatest Man, have relation to the ensiform or zyphoid cartilage, to which the ribs in front are joined, and from which descends the facia alba, which is the fulcrum of the abdominal muscles.


That there are also inhabitants on the Moon, spirits and angels know, and in like manner that there are inhabitants on the moons or satellites which revolve about the earths Jupiter and Saturn. They who have not seen and spoken with spirits therefrom, still do not doubt but that there are also men upon them, because they are equally earths; and where there is an earth, there are men; for man is the end for which every earth was created, and nothing was made by the Great Creator without an end, That the human race is the end of creation, that from it there may be a heaven, may appear to every one who thinks from a somewhat enlightened reason.


THE REASONS WHY THE LORD WAS WILLING TO BE BORN ON OUR EARTH, AND NOT ON ANOTHER. There are many reasons, concerning which I had information from heaven, why it pleased the Lord to be born and to assume the human on our earth, and not on another. The PRINCIPLE REASON was because of the Word, in that it might be written on our earth; and when written be afterwards published throughout the whole earth; and when once published be preserved to all posterity; and that thus it might be made manifest, even to all in the other life, that God became Man.


That the principal reason was because of the Word, is because the Word is the Divine truth itself, which teaches man that there is a God, that there is a heaven and a hell, and that there is a life after death; and teaches moreover how man ought to live and believe, in order to come into heaven, and thus into eternal happiness. All these things would have been altogether unknown without a revelation, thus on this earth without the Word; and yet man is so created that, as to his interiors, he cannot die. 114-1


That the Word might be written on our earth, is because the art of writing has existed here from the most ancient time, first on the bark of trees, next on parchment, afterwards on paper, and lastly published by types. This was provided by the Lord for the sake of the Word.


That the Word might afterwards be published through out the whole earth, is because there is commerce here between all nations, both by land and water, to all parts of the globe; hence that the Word once written might be conveyed from one nation to another, and be taught everywhere.


That the Word once written might be preserved to all posterity, consequently for thousands and thousands of years, and that it has been so preserved is well known.


That thus it might be made manifest that God became Man; for this is the first and most essential, for the sake of which the Word was revealed. For no one can believe in God, and love God, whom he cannot comprehend under some appearance; wherefore they who acknowledge what is invisible and thus incomprehensible, in thought sink into nature, and thus believe in no God. Hence it pleased the Lord to be born on this earth, and to make this manifest by the Word, that it might not only be known on this globe, but also might be made manifest thereby to spirits and angels even from other earths, and likewise to the Gentiles from our own earth." 118-1


It is to be known that the Word on our earth, given through heaven from the Lord, is the union of heaven and the world; for which end there is a correspondence of all things contained in the letter of the Word with the Divine things in heaven; and the Word in its supreme and inmost sense treats of the Lord, of His kingdom in the heavens and the earths, and of love and faith from Him and in Him, consequently of life from Him and in Him. Such things are presented to the angels in heaven, when the Word of our earth is read and preached. 119-1


In every other earth Divine truth is manifested by word of mouth through spirits and angels, as was said above in speaking of the inhabitants of the earths of this solar system. But this manifestation is confined within families; for the human race in most earths live distinct according to families; wherefore the Divine truth thus revealed through spirits and angels is not conveyed far beyond the limits of families, and unless a new revelation constantly succeeds, truth is either perverted or perishes. It is otherwise on our earth, where the Divine truth, which is the Word, remains for ever in its integrity.


It is to be known that the Lord acknowledges and receives all, of whatsoever earth they be, who acknowledge and worship God under the human form, inasmuch as God under the human form is the Lord. And because the Lord appears to the inhabitants in the earths in an angelic form, which is the human form, therefore when the spirits and angels from those earths are informed by the spirits and angels of our earth that God is actually Man, they receive that Word, acknowledge it, and rejoice that it is so.


To the reasons above adduced, may be added, that the inhabitants and spirits of our earth, in the Greatest Man, have relation to the natural and external sense, which sense is the ultimate wherein the interiors of life close, and rest as on their common basis. The case is similar in regard to the Divine truth in the letter, which is called the Word, and which for this reason also was given on this earth, and not on any other: 122-1 and because the Lord is the Word, and is the First and the Last thereof, therefore, that all things might exist according to order, He was willing to be born on this earth, and be made the Word, according to what is written in John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. This was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made which was made. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father. No one has seen God at any time; the Only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath brought Him forth to view (i. 1-14, 18). The Word is the Lord as to the Divine truth, thus the Divine truth from the Lord. 122-2 But this is an arcanum which falls within the understanding of only a few.


THE EARTHS IN THE STARRY HEAVEN. They who are in heaven can speak and converse with angels and spirits who are not only from the earths in this solar system, but also with those who are from other earths in the universe out of this system; and not only with the spirits and angels there, but also with the inhabitants themselves, but only with those whose interiors are open, so that they can hear such as speak from heaven. The same is the case with man during his abode in the world, to whom it has been granted by the Lord to speak with spirits and angels. For man is a spirit as to his interiors, the body which he carries about in the world only serving him for performing functions in this natural or terrestrial sphere, which is the ultimate, But it is granted to no one to speak as a spirit with angels and spirits, unless he be such that he can consociate with angels as to faith and love; nor can he so consociate, unless he have faith and love to the Lord; for man is joined to the Lord by faith and love to Him, that is, by truths of doctrine and goods of life from Him; and when he is conjoined to the Lord, he is secure from the assaults of evil spirits from hell. With others the interiors cannot be so far opened, since they are not in the Lord. This is the reason why there are few at this day to whom it is granted to speak and converse with angels; a manifest proof whereof is, that the existence of spirits and angels is scarcely believed at this day, much less that they are with every man, and that by them man has connection with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. Still less is it believed that man, when he dies as to the body, lives a spirit, even in a human form as before.


Because at this day with many in the church there is no belief in the life after death, and scarce any belief in heaven, nor in the Lord as the God of heaven and earth; therefore the interiors which are of my spirit have been opened by the Lord, so that while still in the body, I can at the same time be with angels in heaven, and not only speak with them, but also see the stupendous things there, and describe them; so that it may not chance to be said hereafter, "Who has come to us from heaven and told us that there is such a place, and what there is there?" But I know that they who in heart have before denied heaven and hell and the life after death, will still confirm themselves against them, and deny them; for it is easier to make a crow white, than to make those believe who have once rejected faith in the heart. The reason is, that they always think of such things from the negative, and not from the affirmative. Nevertheless, let what has been said hitherto, and what is still further to be said concerning angels and spirits, be for the few who are in faith. And that the rest also may be led along to something of acknowledgment it has been conceded to relate such things as delight and attract the man who is desirous of knowing; and now about the earths in the starry heaven.


He who does not know the arcana of heaven, cannot believe that a man can see earths so distant, and relate anything about them from the experiences of the senses. But let him know that the spaces and distances, and thence the progressions in the natural world, are, in their origin and first cause, changes of the state of the interiors, and with angels and spirits appear according to these changes; 125-1 and that thus they can by these changes be apparently transferred from one place to another, and from one earth to another, even to the earths which are at the end of the universe. So also may a man be transferred as to his spirit, his body still remaining in its place. Thus it has been done with me, since by the Divine mercy of the Lord it has been given me to have interaction with spirits as a spirit, and at the same time with men as a man. That a man can be so transferred as to his spirit, the sensual man cannot understand, since he is in space and time, and measures his movements according to them.


That there are many worlds, may be evident to every one, from there being so many constellations visible in the universe; and it is known in the learned world that every fixed star is like a sun in its place; for it remains fixed like the sun of our earth in its place; and that the distance makes it appear small in form like a star. Consequently that like the sun of our world, it has round it planets, which are earths; and the reason that these do not appear to our eyes, is their being at such an immense distance, and having only the light of their star, which cannot be reflected again as far as here. For what other purpose is there so great a heaven with so many stars? For the end of the creation of the universe is man, that from man there may be an angelic heaven. What would the human race, and thence an angelic heaven, from one earth, be for the Infinite Creator, for Whom a thousand earths, nay, tens of thousands, would not be enough? By calculation it appears that if there were a million earths in the universe, and men on every earth to the number of three hundred millions, and two hundred generations in six thousand years, and if to each man or spirit were given the space of three cubic ells, the whole number of so many men or spirits, collected into one body, would still not fill the space of the thousandth part of this earth, thus perhaps not more than the space of a single satellite around the planet Jupiter or Saturn; which would be a space scarce discernible in the universe, for a satellite is hardly visible to the naked eye. What is this to the Creator of the universe? to Whom there would not be enough if the whole universe should be filled, for He is Infinite. On these matters I have spoken with angels, who said that they have a similar idea of the fewness of the human race in comparison with the infinity of the Creator, although they do not think from spaces, but from states; and that according to their idea, earths to the number of as many myriads as could be conceived by thought, would still be as nothing at all to the Lord. But in what now follows, the earths in the starry heavens shall be described from experience itself; from which it will also be evident how I was transferred thither as to my spirit, my body remaining in its place.


THE FIRST EARTH IN THE STARRY HEAVEN, ITS SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS; FROM THINGS HEARD AND SEEN. I was led by the Lord by means of angels to a certain earth in the starry heaven, where it was given me to look into the earth itself, yet not to speak with the inhabitants there, but with the spirits who were from it. All the inhabitants or men of every earth, after the life in the world is finished, become spirits, and remain near their own earth. From these spirits, however, information is given about their earth, and about the state of the inhabitants there; for men who leave the body bring with them all their former life, and all their memory. 127-1 To be led to earths in the universe is not to be led and transferred thither as to the body, but as to the spirit; and the spirit is led by variations of the state of the interior life, which appear to it as progressions through space. 127-2 Approaches also are made according to agreements or similarities of states of life; for agreement or similarity of life conjoined disagreement and dissimilarity disjoin. From this mite be evident how transference is made as to the spirit, and approach to what is distant, the man still remaining in his place. But to lead the spirit beyond its own world by variations of the state of its interiors, and to make the variations advance successively even to a state agreeing with or similar to that of those to whom it is led, is in the power of the Lord alone. For there must be continual direction and foresight from first to last, in going and returning; especially with a man who is still in the world of nature as to the body, and thereby in space. That this has been done, those who are in the bodily senses and think from them, cannot be induced to believe, for the reason that what is of bodily sense cannot comprehend progressions without space. But still they who think from the sense of their spirit, somewhat removed or withdrawn from the sense of the body, thus interiorly in themselves, may be led to believe and to comprehend; since in the idea of the interior thought there is not space nor time, but instead thereof those things from which spaces and times exist. It is for such persons that what follows concerning the earths in the starry heaven is related, and not for others, unless they will suffer themselves to be instructed.


In a state of wakefulness I was led as to the spirit by the Lord, by means of angels, to a certain earth in the universe, accompanied by some spirits from this world. Our progress was made toward the right, and lasted two hours. Near the limit of our solar system, there appeared at first a shining bright cloud, but dense, and beyond it a fiery smoke ascending out of a great chasm. It was a vast gulf separating our solar world on that side from some worlds of the starry heavens. That fiery smoke appeared at a considerable distance. I was borne across the middle of it; and then there appeared beneath in that chasm or gulf very many men, who were spirits; for spirits all appear in the human form, and actually are men. I also heard them speaking with one another; but whence they were and their quality was not given me to know. Yet one of them said to me that they were guards, lest spirits should pass from this world into another in the universe without leave having been given. That it was so, was also confirmed; for some spirits who were in our company, but had not received the ability to pass over, when they came to that great interspace, began to cry out vehemently that they were perishing; for they were like those who are struggling in agony with death, and therefore they stopped on that side of the gulf, nor could they be taken any further, as the fiery smoke that exhaled from the gulf enveloped them and thus tortured them.


Afterwards I was carried along through that great chasm, and at length I arrived at a place where I stopped; and there then appeared to me spirits overhead with whom it was given me to speak. From their speech, and from their genius of apprehending and explaining things, I clearly perceived that they were from another earth for they were quite different from the spirits of our solar system. They also perceived from my speech that I was from afar.


After we had spoken for sometime on various matters, I asked what God they worshiped. They said they worshiped an angel, who appears to them as a Divine Man, shining with light; and that He instructs them and gives them to perceive what they ought to do. They said further that they know that the Most High God is in the sun of the angelic heaven; and that He appears to their angel, and not to themselves; and that He is too great for them to dare to adore Him. The angel whom they worshiped was an angelic society, to which it was given by the Lord to preside over them, and to teach the way of what is just and right. They therefore have light from a certain flame, which appears like a small torch, quite fiery and yellow. The reason is because they do not adore the Lord, and thus they do not have light from the sun of the angelic heaven, but from an angelic society. For an angelic society, when it is given by the Lord, can present such light to the spirits who are in a lower region. That angelic society was also seen by me, high above them; and there was also seen there the flamy appearance from which their light came.


As to the rest, they were modest, and somewhat simple, but yet they thought very well, From the light with them it might be concluded what their intellectual faculty is; for the understanding is according to the reception of the light which is in the heavens; since the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord as a sun is what shines there, and enables the angels not only to see, but also to understand. 131-1


I was instructed that the inhabitants and spirits of that earth have reference in the Greatest Man to something in the spleen, of which I was confirmed by an influx into the spleen when they were speaking with me.


They were asked about the sun of their system, which illumines their earth. They said that the sun there appears flamy; and when I represented the size of the sun of our earth, they said that theirs is smaller; for their sun to our eyes is a star, and I was told by angels that it is among the smaller stars. They also said that the starry heaven is likewise seen from their earth, and that a star larger than the rest appears to them toward the west. I was told from heaven that this is our sun.


Presently my sight was opened, so that I could look somewhat into that earth itself; and there appeared many meadows and woods with leafy trees, and also woolly sheep I afterward saw some of the inhabitants, who were of the lower class, clothed in a dress much like that of peasants in Europe. There was also seen a man with his woman. She appeared of handsome figure and graceful carriage, and the man likewise. But, what I wondered at, he had a pompous gait, with a rather haughty step; while the woman, on the contrary, walked with a humble step. It was said by the angels that such is the custom on that earth, and that the men who are such are loved, because nevertheless they are good. I was further told that it is not permitted them to have many wives, because it is contrary to their laws. The woman whom I saw had before her breast a broad garment, with which she could screen herself, while it was so made that she could insert her arms and wrap it about herself, and so walk away. The lower part of it could be drawn up, and when drawn up and applied to the body, it appeared like an upper garment covering the chest, such as is worn by the women of our earth. But the same garment served also for the man, who was seen to take it from the woman and apply it to his back, loosening the lower part, which then flowed down to his feet, like a toga, and thus clothed he walked about. What I saw on that earth, was not seen with the eyes of my body, but with the eyes of my spirit; and the spirit can see the things that are on an earth, when it is granted by the Lord.


Since I know that it will be doubted whether it is in any way possible for a man to see with the eyes of his spirit anything on an earth so distant, it is allowed me to say how this thing is. Distances in the other life are not like distances on earth. In the other life distances are altogether according to the states of the interiors of any one. Those who are in a like state, are together in one society and in one place. Everything is present there according to similarity of state and everything is distant according to dissimilarity of state. Hence it was that I was near that earth when I was led by the Lord into a state similar to that of its spirits and inhabitants, and that being then present I spoke with them. From this it is plain that the earths in the spiritual world are not distant in the same way as in the natural world; but only apparently, according to the states of life of the inhabitants and spirits there, The state of life is the state of affections as to love and faith. In regard to a spirit being able to see the things which are on an earth, or what is the same, a man as to his spirit, it is allowed me to explain how this also is. Neither spirits nor angels can, by their own sight, see anything that is in the world; for to them the light of the world, or of the sun, is as dense thick darkness, just as man by his bodily sight cannot see anything that is in the other life; for to him the light of heaven is as dense thick darkness. But still, spirits and angels, when it is the Lord's good pleasure, can see the things that are in the world through the eyes of man. But this the Lord does not grant to any others than those whom He gives to speak with spirits and angels, and to be together with them, Through my eyes it has been given them to see the things which are in the world, and as plainly as I did; and also to hear men speaking with me. It has sometimes happened, that some through me have seen their friends whom they had in the life of the body, just at present as before, and they were astounded. They have also seen their husbands, or wives, and their children, and wished to tell them that they were present and saw them, and also wanted me to tell them about their state in the other life. But I was prohibited from telling them and revealing to them that they were thus seen, even for the reason that they would have called me insane, or would have thought that it was delirium of mind. For it was known to me, that although they acknowledged with the lips, still they did not believe in the heart, that there were spirits, and that the dead had risen and were among spirits, and that these could see and hear through a man. When my interior sight was first opened, and those who were in the other life saw through my eyes the world and the things that were in it, they were so astonished that they called this the miracle of miracles, and were affected with a new joy, that thus there was granted a communication of earth with heaven, and of heaven with earth. This joy lasted for months; but afterwards it became familiar. Now they have ceased to wonder. I have been instructed that the spirits and angels with other men, see nothing at all of what is in the world, but only perceive the thoughts and affections of those with whom they are. From this it may be evident that man was so created, that while living in the world among men, he might at the same time also live in heaven among angels, and the converse; thus that heaven and the world with a man might be together, and act as one; and that men might know what is in heaven, and angels what is in the world; and when men die, they might thus pass out of the Lord's kingdom on earth into the Lord's kingdom in heaven, not as into a different kingdom, but as into the same in which they also were when they lived in the body. But because man has become so corporeal, he has closed heaven to himself.


Lastly I spoke with the spirits who were from that earth about various things on our earth, especially about there being sciences here which are not elsewhere, as astronomy, geometry, mechanics, physics, chemistry, medicine, optics, philosophy: and also arts, which are not known elsewhere, as those of ship- building, of casting metals, of writing upon paper, and of printing what is written by types, and so of communicating it to others on the earth, and also of preserving it for posterity for thousands of years; as I told them had been done with the Word which is from the Lord; and therefore there is a permanent Revelation on our earth.


Lastly was shown me the hell of those who are from that earth. Those who were seen from it terrified one most exceedingly, and I dare not describe their monstrous faces. There were also seen there enchantresses, who practice direful arts. These appeared clothed in green, and they struck me with horror.


A SECOND EARTH IN THE STARRY HEAVEN, ITS SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS. I was afterwards led by the Lord to an earth in the universe which was further distant from our earth than the foregoing of which we have been just speaking. That it was further distant was plain from this, that I was two days in being led thither as to my spirit. This earth was to the left, whereas the former was to the right. Inasmuch as remoteness in the spiritual world does not arise from distance of place, but from difference of state, as was said above, therefore from the slowness of my progression thither, which lasted two days, I might conclude that the state of the interiors with them, which is the state of the affections and thence of the thoughts, differed proportionately from the state of the interiors with spirits from our earth. Being conveyed thither as to the spirit by changes of the state of the interiors, I was enabled to observe the successive changes themselves before I arrived thither, This was done whilst I was awake.


When I arrived thither, the earth was not seen, but only the spirits who were from that earth; for, as also was said above, the spirits of every earth appear about their own earth, by reason that they are of a genius similar to that of the inhabitants, for they are from them, and in order that they may serve them. Those spirits were seen at a considerable height above my head whence they observed me as I approached. It is to be known that they who stand on high in the other life can look at those who are beneath them, and the higher they are the greater is the extent of their vision; and they can not only look at them, but likewise can speak with them. From their state of elevation they observed that I was not from their earth, but from another afar off; wherefore they addressed me inquiring concerning various things, to which it was given me to reply; and among other things I related to them from what earth I was, and what kind of earth it was. Afterwards I spoke to them concerning the other earths in our solar system; and at the same time also concerning the spirits of the earth or planet Mercury, that they wander about to many earths for the purpose of procuring for themselves knowledges of various matters. On hearing this, they said that they had likewise seen those spirits with them.


It was told me by the angels from our earth, that the inhabitants and spirits of that earth have reference in the Greatest Man to keenness of vision, and for this reason they appear on high, and that they are also exceedingly clear-sighted. Because they had reference to that, and because they saw very clearly what was beneath them, in talking with them I also compared them to eagles, which fly on high, and have a clear and wide vision around them. But at this they were indignant, supposing that I believed them to be like eagles as to rapine, and thus that they were evil. But I replied that I did not liken them to eagles as to rapine, but as to keenness of sight.


They were asked about the God whom they worshiped; and they answered that they worshiped God visible and invisible, God visible under the Human form, and God invisible not under any form; and it was found from their speech, and also from the ideas of their thought as communicated to me, that the visible God was our Lord Himself, and they also called Him Lord. To this it was given to reply, that on our earth also God is worshiped as invisible and as visible; and that God invisible is called the Father, and visible the Lord, but that the two are one, as He Himself taught, saying that no man hath ever seen the form of the Father, but that the Father and He are one; and that He who sees Him sees the Father; and that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father; consequently that the two are the Divine in one Person. That these are the words of the Lord Himself, may be seen in John (v. 37; x. 30; xiv. 7, 9-11).


After a while I saw other spirits from the same earth, who appeared in a place below the former, with whom also I spoke. But they were idolaters, for they worshiped an idol of stone, resembling a man, but not beautiful. It is to be known that all who come into the other life have at first a worship like their worship in the world, but that they are gradually withdrawn from it. The reason is, that all worship remains implanted in man's interior life, from which it cannot be removed and eradicated but by degrees. On seeing this, it was given me to tell them that they ought not to worship what is dead, but what is living; to which they answered that they know that God lives, and that a stone does not; but that they think of the living God when they look upon a stone in the form of a man; and that otherwise the ideas of their thought cannot be fixed and determined to the invisible God. Then it was given me to tell them that the ideas of thought can be fixed and determined to the invisible God when they are fixed and determined to the Lord, Who is God visible in thought under the Human form; and thus that man can be conjoined to the invisible God in thought and affection, consequently in faith and love, when he is conjoined to the Lord, but in no other way.


The spirits who were seen on high were asked whether on their earth they live under the rule of princes and kings; to which they answered that they do not know what such rule is; and that they live under themselves, distinguished into nations, families, and houses. They were asked whether they are secure in this way. They said that they are, since one family does not envy another, nor wish to take anything away from it. They were indignant at being asked such questions, which seemed to imply that there was hostility among them, or need of protection against robbers. What more is needed, they said, than to have food and clothing, and so to dwell contented and quiet under themselves.


Being questioned further about their earth, they said that they have meadows, flower gardens, woods full of fruit trees, and also lakes in which are fish; and that they have birds of a blue color with golden wings, and animals of various sizes. Among the smaller they mentioned one kind which had the back humped, like the camels on our earth. They do not, however, eat the flesh of these animals, but only the flesh of fishes, and also the fruits of trees and leguminous plants of the earth. They said further that they do not dwell in built houses, but in groves, in which they make a shelter for themselves among the foliage against rain and the heat of the sun.


They were asked about their sun, which is seen as a star from our earth, and they said that it appears fiery; not larger to the sight than a man's head. I was told by angels that the star which is their sun is among the smaller stars, not far distant from the celestial equator.


Spirits were seen, in a similar appearance to what they had when they were men on their earth. They had a face not unlike that of the men of our earth, except that the eyes and nose were smaller. As this seemed to me somewhat of a deformity, they said that to them small eyes and a small nose are marks of beauty. A woman was seen, dressed in a gown on which were roses of various colors. I inquired of what materials they make their garments on that earth. They answered that from plants they gather such things as they can spin into threads, and that they then lay the threads side by side in double and triple layers, and moisten them with a glutinous liquid, and so give it consistency, coloring it afterward with juices from herbs. I was likewise shown how they prepare the threads: they sit leaning back on a seat, and twist the thread with the toes; and when it is twisted, they draw it to them, and finish it with the hands.


They also said that on that earth a husband has only one wife, and not more, and that they have from ten to fifteen children. They added that harlots are also found there; but that after the life of the body, when they become spirits, they are sorceresses, and are cast into hell.


A THIRD EARTH IN THE STARRY HEAVEN, ITS SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS. Some spirits appeared at a distance who were not willing to come near. The reason was that they could not be with the spirits of our earth who were then around me. From this I perceived that they were from another earth, and afterward I was told that they were from a certain earth in the universe; but where that earth is, I was not informed. These spirits were altogether unwilling to think of their body, and indeed of anything corporeal and material, differently from the spirits from our earth. This was why they were not willing to come near. But still after the removal of some of the spirits of our earth, they came nearer and spoke with me. But then anxiety was felt, arising from the collision of spheres; for spiritual spheres encompass all spirits and societies of spirits; and because they flow forth from the life of the affections and of the thoughts therefrom, therefore where there are opposing affections there arises collision, and thence anxiety. The spirits of our earth said that they did not dare to approach them, since when they were approaching, they not only were seized with anxiety, but also appeared to themselves as if bound hand and foot with serpents, from which they could not be loosed until they withdrew. This appearance had its origin from correspondence; for the spirits of our earth have reference in the Greatest Man to the external sense, thus to the corporeal sensual, and this sensual is represented in the other life by serpents. 148-1


Because the nature of the spirits of that earth is such, they appear before the eyes of other spirits, not like others, in a manifest human form, but like clouds, and for the most part like a dark cloud, in which is mingled something of a bright human appearance. But they said that they are white within, and that when they become angels, the dark color is turned into a beautiful blue, as was also shown to me. I asked whether they had such an idea of their body, when they lived as men in the world. They said that the men of their earth make no account of their bodies, but only of the spirit in the body, because they know that this is to live to eternity, but the body to perish. They also said that many on their earth believe that the spirit of the body has been from eternity, and was infused into the body at conception. But they added that they now know it is not so, and that they repent having been in such a false opinion.


When I asked whether they wished to see anything on our earth, and said that this could be done through my eyes (see above n. 135), they answered at first that they could not, and then that they did not wish it; since they would see only earthly and material things, from which they remove their thoughts as far as possible. But still there were represented before them magnificent palaces, like those of kings and princes on our earth, for such things can be represented before spirits, and when represented, they appear altogether as if they were there. But the spirits from that earth set no value upon them, calling them marble images; and then they told me that they had more magnificent ones, which are their sanctuaries, not of stone, but of wood. When it was said to them that these were still earthly, they answered that they were not, but heavenly; because when they look upon them, they have not an earthly, but a heavenly idea, believing that they will also see similar ones in heaven after death.


102-1 Influx is spiritual, and not physical or natural, consequently influx is from the spiritual world into the natural, and not from the natural into the spiritual (n. 3219, 5119, 5259, 5427, 5428, 5477, 6322). It appears as if influx is from externals into man's internals, but this is a fallacy (n. 3721).

114-1 From natural light alone nothing is known concerning the Lord, concerning heaven and hell, concerning the life of man after death, and concerning Divine truths, by which man has spiritual and eternal life (n. 8944, 10,318-10,320). This may appear from this, that many, and among them the learned, do not believe those things, although they are born where the word is, and where there is instruction by the Word concerning those things (n. 10,319). Therefore it was necessary there should be a revelation from heaven, because man was born for heaven (n. 1775).

118-1 The Gentiles in the other life are instructed by angels, and they who have lived well according to their religious principles, receive the truths of faith, and acknowledge the Lord (n. 2049, 2595, 2598, 2600, 2601, 2603, 2661, 2863, 3263).

119-1 The word is understood by the angels in the heavens differently from what it is understood by men on the earths, and that the internal or spiritual sense is for the angels but the external or natural sense for men (n. 1769-1772, 1887, 2143, 2333, 2396, 2540, 2541, 2545, 2551). The word is conjunctive of heaven and earth (n. 2310, 2495, 9212, 9216, 9357, 10,357). The word therefore is written by mere correspondences (n. 1404, 1408, 1409, 1540, 1619, 1659, 1709, 1783, 8615, 10,687). In the inmost sense of the word the Lord alone and His Kingdom are treated of (n. 1873, 2249, 2523, 7014, 9357).

122-1 The word In the sense of the letter is natural (n. 8783). By reason that what is natural is the ultimate, wherein spiritual and celestial things close, and on which they subsist as on their foundation, and that otherwise the internal or spiritual sense of the word without the external or natural sense, would be as a house without a foundation (n. 9430, 9433, 9824, 10,044, 10,136).

122-2 The Word is the Lord as to the Divine truth, thus the Divine truth from the Lord (n. 2859, 4692, 5075, 9987). By the Divine truth all things were created and made (n. 2803, 2884, 5272, 7835).

125-1 Movements, progressions, and changes of place in the other life are changes of state of the interiors of the life, and still they appear to spirits and angels as real changes of place (n. 1273-1277, 1377, 3356, 5605, 10,734).

127-1 Man after death retains the memory of all his affairs in the world (n. 2476-2486).

127-2 Movements, progressions, and changes of place in the other life are changes of state of the interiors of the life, and still they appear to spirits and angels as real changes of place (n. 1273-1277, 1377, 3356, 5605, 10,734).

131-1 The light in the heavens is great (n. 1117, 1521, 1522, 1533, 1619-1632, 4527, 5400, 8644). All the light in the heavens is from the Lord as a sun there (n. 1053, 1521, 3195, 3341, 3636, 4415, 9548, 9684, 10,809). Divine truth proceeding from the Lord appears in the heavens as light (n. 3195, 3222, 5400, 8644, 9399, 9548, 9684). That light illumines both the sight and the understanding of angels and spirits (n. 2776, 3138). The light of heaven also illumines the understanding of man (n. 1524, 3138, 3167, 4408, 6608, 8707, 9128, 9399, 10,569).

148-1 Man's external sensual is represented in the spiritual world by serpents, because it is in the lowest things, and in comparison with the interiors with man, lies on the ground and as it were creeps; and that they were thence called serpents, who reasoned from that sensual (n. 195-197, 6398, 6949).

Next: 151-200