(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 4623

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4623. But be it known that the life of sense with spirits is twofold, namely, real and not real. The one is distinguished from the other by the fact that everything is real which appears to those who are in heaven, whereas everything is unreal which appears to those who are in hell. For whatever comes from the Divine (that is, from the Lord) is real, because it comes from the very being of things, and from life in itself, but whatever comes from a spirit's own is not real, because it does not come from the being of things, nor from life in itself. They who are in the affection of good and truth are in the Lord's life, thus in real life, for the Lord is present in good and truth through the affection; but they who are in evil and falsity through the affection, are in the life of what is their own, thus in a life not real, for the Lord is not present in evil and falsity. The real is distinguished from the not real in this-that the real is actually such as it appears, and that the not real is actually not such as it appears.
[2] They who are in hell have sensations equally with others, and are not aware but that everything is really or actually just as it appears to their senses; and yet when they are looked at by the angels, the same things appear as phantasms, and disappear, and they themselves do not appear as men, but as monsters. It has also been given me to speak with them on this subject, and some of them said that they believe things to be real because they see and touch them, adding that sense cannot deceive. But it was given me to reply that no matter how real these things may appear to them, they nevertheless are not real, and this because they themselves are in things contrary or opposite to the Divine, namely, in evils and falsities, and moreover are themselves nothing but phantasies insofar as their thoughts are concerned, to the extent that they are in cupidities of evil and persuasions of falsity; and to see anything from phantasies is to see things that are real as not real, and things that are not real as real; and that unless it were given them of the Lord's Divine mercy to have their senses affected in this manner, they would have no sensitive life, consequently no life at all, because that which is sensitive constitutes the whole of life. To adduce all my experience on these subjects would be to fill many pages.
[3] Therefore when you enter the other life beware of being deceived, for evil spirits know how to conjure up illusions of many kinds before those who come fresh from the world, and if they cannot deceive them, they nevertheless thereby endeavor to persuade them that nothing is real, but that all things are ideal, even those which are in heaven.


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