(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 3747

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3747. I have occasionally conversed with spirits concerning the learned of our age-that they know only the distinction of man into internal and external, and this not from any reflection on the interior things of the thoughts and affections in themselves, but from the Word of the Lord; and that still they are ignorant what the internal man is, and that many even have doubts as to whether it exists, and also deny its existence, because they do not live the life of the internal man, but that of the external; and because they are so much led astray by the appearance as regards brute animals, in their seeming like themselves in respect to organs, viscera, senses, appetites, and affections. And it was said that the learned know less about such subjects than the simple, and that still they seem to themselves to know much more; for they dispute about the interaction of the soul and body, and even about the nature of the soul, as to what it is; when yet the simple know that the soul is the internal man, and that it is man's spirit which is to live after the death of the body; also that it is the real man which is in the body.
[2] And further it was said that more than the simple, the learned make themselves out to be like the brutes, and ascribe all things to nature, and scarcely anything to Divine; and still further, that they do not reflect that as distinguished from brute animals man has a capacity for thinking about heaven, and about God, and thereby of being elevated above himself, consequently of being conjoined with the Lord by love; and thus that men cannot but live after death to eternity. And it was added that they are especially ignorant that all things whatsoever belonging to man depend on the Lord through heaven, and that heaven is the Grand Man, to which correspond all things in man in both general and particular, and also all things in nature; and possibly when they shall hear and read these things they will seem to them like paradoxes, and unless experience confirms them they will reject them as a fanciful affair; as they will also do when they shall hear that there are three degrees of life in man, as there are three degrees of life in the heavens, that is, three heavens and that man so corresponds to the three heavens that when he is in the life of good and truth, and by this life an image of the Lord, he is himself in image a little heaven.
[3] I have been instructed concerning these degrees of life-that it is the last or ultimate degree of life which is called the external or natural man by which man is like animals as regards lusts and fantasies; that it is the second degree of life which is called the internal and rational man by which man is above animals, for it is through this that he is able to think and will what is good and true, and have dominion over the natural man, by restraining and also rejecting its lusts and the resultant fantasies, and also by reflecting within himself concerning heaven, nay, concerning Divine, which brute animals are altogether incapable of doing; and lastly that the third degree of life is that which is the most unknown to man, although it is that through which the Lord inflows into the rational mind, whereby man has the faculty of thinking as a man, and also has conscience, and perception of what is good and true, and also elevation by the Lord toward Himself. But these things are remote from the ideas of the learned of this age, who merely dispute whether a thing exists; and who, so long as they do this, cannot know that it does exist, and still less what it is.


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