(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 10758

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10758. Finally I spoke to the spirits of that earth about the faith of the inhabitants of our earth in regard to the resurrection, saying that they cannot conceive that men come into the other life immediately after death, and then appear as men, in face, body, arms, feet, and all the senses external and internal; and still less that they are clothed with garments and have places of abode and habitations; and this merely for the reason that most of them think from the sensuous things of the body, and therefore believe that nothing has any existence except the things they see and touch; and also because few of them can be withdrawn from external sensuous things to interior ones, and thus be elevated into the light of heaven. From this it is that they cannot have any idea of a man in connection with their soul or spirit, but only an idea as of wind, air, or breath, of no form, in which, however, there is something vital. This is the reason why they do not believe that they will rise again except at the end of the world, which they call the Last Judgment, and that then the body though crumbled into dust and dispersed to all the winds is to be brought back and joined again to its soul or spirit.
[2] I added that they are permitted to believe this, because, thinking as they do from sensuous things, they can in no other way avoid the conception that it is impossible for their soul or spirit to live as a man and in the human form unless it gets back that body which it carried about in the world; and therefore unless it were said that this body will rise again, they would at heart reject as incomprehensible the doctrine of the resurrection and of eternal life. Nevertheless this idea about the resurrection is attended with this useful result, that they believe in a life after death. And from this belief it follows that when they lie sick in bed, and do not think as before from worldly and bodily things, thus not from sensuous ones, they then believe that they will live immediately after their decease; and they also then speak about heaven and about their hope of life there immediately after death, in a way far removed from the doctrine about the Last Judgment.
[3] I further told them something that has occasionally excited my surprise, namely, that when those who are in the faith speak of the life after death, and of their friends who are either dead or dying, and do not at the moment think about the Last Judgment, they believe that their friends will live, or are living, as men immediately after their decease. But the moment that there flows in the thought of the Last Judgment, this idea is changed into a material idea about their earthly body, that it is again to be joined with their soul. For they do not know that in respect to his interiors every man is a spirit, and that it is this which lives in the body, and not the body from itself; and that the spirit of everyone is that from which the body has its human form, consequently which is chiefly the man, and in a like form, but invisible before the eyes of the body, yet visible before the eyes of spirits.
[4] And it is also from this that when the sight of a man's spirit is opened, which is effected by the removal of the sight of the body, angels are seen as men; as also did angels appear to the ancients of whom we read in the Word. I have also sometimes spoken with spirits whom I had known when they lived as men in the world, asking them whether they wish to be clothed again with their earthly body, as they had before thought. On hearing this they fled far away at the mere idea of such a conjunction, being filled with amazement that in the world they had so thought from a blind faith without any understanding.


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