(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 4527

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4527. I have spoken with some a few days after their decease, and who being recently arrived were in a light which to them differed but little from the light of this world, which caused them to doubt whether they had the light from any other source. They were therefore taken up into the entrance of heaven, where there was a light still clearer; and speaking with me from there, they said that they had never seen such a light; and yet this occurred after our sunset. They then wondered that spirits have eyes wherewith to see, and yet during their bodily life they had believed that the life of spirits is mere thought, abstracted from any subject, for they had not been able to think of any subject of thought because they had not seen it. And this being the case, they had imagined that as the spirit is mere thought it must be dissipated, like some breath of air or some fire, together with the body that had contained it, unless it were miraculously held together and kept in existence by the Lord. And they then saw how easily the learned fall into error regarding the life after death, and that above all others they believe nothing but what they see. They wondered therefore, not merely that they can think, but also that they can see, and enjoy all the other senses, and still more that they appear to themselves exactly like men, and see, hear, and converse with one another, and feel their own members by touch, and this more exquisitely than in the life of the body. At this they fell into amazement, that men living in this world know nothing of this, and they pitied the human race for their ignorance of such things consequent on their unbelief in them, and especially did they pity those who have more light than others, namely, those who are within the church and have the Word.
[2] Some of them had believed that after death men would be like ghosts, in which opinion they had confirmed themselves from the specters of which they had heard, but in regard to which they had imagined that such a specter must be some gross principle of life, which first exhales from the body's life, but afterwards sinks back again into the corpse, and is thus extinguished. Some however had believed that they would not rise again until the time of the last judgment when the world would be destroyed, and they would then rise again with the body, which, though fallen into dust, would then be gathered together, and they would thus rise again with their bones and flesh. And as that last judgment or destruction of the world had been waited for in vain for many centuries, they had fallen into the error that they would never rise again; never thinking of what they had learned from the Word, and from which they had also sometimes spoken, saying that when a man dies his soul is in the hand of God, among the happy or the unhappy according to the life which he had made habitual to himself; nor thinking of what the Lord said about the rich man and Lazarus. But they were instructed that the last judgment of everyone is when he dies; and that he then appears to himself endowed with a body as in the world, and enjoys as here every sense, only more pure and exquisite because bodily things no longer stand in the way, and the things of the light of the world no longer darken those of the light of heaven; thus that they are as it were in a purified body, and that in the other life one could not possibly carry about a body of bones and flesh such as he had in the world, because this would be to be again encompassed with the dust of the earth.
[3] I have spoken on this subject with some on the very day their bodies were being entombed, who saw through my eyes their own corpse, the bier, and the funeral ceremony; and they said that they reject that body, which had served them for uses in the world in which they had been, and that they are now living in a body which serves them for uses in the world in which they are now. They also desired me to tell these things to their relatives who were mourning; but it was given me to reply, that if I should do so they would scoff, because that which they could not see with their own eyes they would believe to be nothing, and would set down as delusive visions. For men cannot be brought to believe that just as they see one another with their eyes, so spirits see one another with theirs; and that a man can only see spirits with the eyes of his own spirit, and that he sees them when the Lord opens his internal sight, as was done to the prophets, who saw spirits and angels, and also many things in heaven; and there is room for doubt whether those now living would have believed these things if they had lived at that time.


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