(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 233

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233. The third Memorable Relation:
After this one of the angels said, "Follow me to the place where they are shouting, OH, HOW WISE"; and he added, "You will see monstrosities of men. You will see faces and bodies which are those of men and yet they are not men."
To my question, "Are they then beasts?" he answered: "They are not beasts but beast-men, being entirely unable to see whether a truth is true or not, and yet able to make whatever they will to be true. With us, such men are called Confirmers." Following the shouting, we came to the place and, behold, a group of men. Around the group was a crowd, and in the crowd, some men of noble descent. These, when they heard them confirming every statement they made, and favoring them with such manifest assent, turned around and said, "Oh, how wise!"
[2] The angel then said to me, "Let us not go to them but let us call out one of the group." We then called one out and with him we went aside and conversed on various subjects. He then so confirmed every statement that it seemed as though it was absolutely true. We asked him whether he could also confirm the opposite statement. He answered, "Just as easily as the former." Then, speaking openly and from the heart, he continued: "What is truth? Is there anything true in the nature of things other than what a man makes true? Tell me anything you please and I will make it true."
I said, "Make it true that faith is the all of the Church." This he did, and so dexterously and skillfully that the learned standing around were astonished and gave their applause. I then asked him to make it true that charity is the all of the Church, and this also he did; and afterwards, that charity is nothing of the Church; and he so clothed and adorned both propositions with appearances that the bystanders looked at each other and said, "Is he not wise?"
But I said: "Do you not know that to live well is charity, and that to believe well is faith? that he who lives well also believes well? thus that faith is of charity and charity of faith? Do you not see that this is true?"
He replied, "Let me make it true and I shall see it." And he did so and said, "Now I see it." But presently he made its opposite true and said, "I see that this also is true."
Smiling at this, we said, "Are they not opposites? How can two opposites be seen as truth?" Indignant at this, he replied, "You are in error. Each is true, for nothing is true but what a man makes true."
[3] Standing near by was one who in the world had been an ambassador of the first rank. He was astonished at this statement and said, "I acknowledge that there is something like this in the world, but still you are insane. Make it true, if you can, that light is darkness and darkness light."
The confirmer replied: "I can do that easily. What are light and darkness but states of the eye? Is not light changed to shade when the eye passes out of a sunny place? and also when it looks intently at the sun? Who does not know that the state of the eye is then changed, and that hence light appears as shade; and on the other hand, that when the state of the eye returns, the shade appears as light. Does not an owl see the darkness of night as the light of day, and the light of day as the darkness of night, and even the sun itself as an opaque and dusky globe? If any man had eyes like an owl, which would he call light and which darkness? What then is light but a state of the eye; and being a state of the eye, is not light darkness and darkness light? Therefore the one statement is true and the other also is true."
[4] The ambassador then asked him to make it true that the raven is white and not black; and he answered. "That also I can do easily." He then said: "Take a needle or a razor and open the feathers or quills of a raven. Are they not white within? Then remove the feathers and quills and look at the raven's skin, is it not white? What is the black which is around it but a shade from which no judgment should be made respecting the raven's color. As to black being only shade, consult experts in the science of optics and they will tell you; or grind black stone or glass to a fine powder and you will see that the powder is white."
"But," the ambassador answered, "does not the raven appear black to the sight?" To this the confirmer replied: "Do you, who are a man, wish to think anything from appearances? From appearance you can indeed say that the raven is black, but you cannot think it. For example, you can say from appearance that the sun rises, progresses, and sets, but being a man, you cannot think it because the sun stands unmoved and it is the earth that progresses. It is the same with the raven. Appearance Is appearance. Say what you will, the raven is entirely white; moreover, it grows white as it grows old. This I have seen."
[5] We then asked him to tell us, from the heart, whether he was jesting or whether he believed that nothing is true but what a man makes true, and he answered, "I swear that I believe it."
After this, the ambassador asked him if he could make it true that he was insane. He said, "I can, but I do not wish to. Who is not insane?"
This universal confirmer was then sent to angels who explored him as to his true nature. After the exploration, they said that he did not possess a single grain of understanding, because with him all that is above the rational was closed and that only was open which is below the rational. Above the rational is heavenly light, while below it, is natural light, and the latter is such that one can confirm whatsoever he pleases; but if heavenly light does not flow into his natural light, he does not see whether any truth is true or, consequently, whether any falsity is false. The ability to see the latter and the former comes from heavenly light in natural light; and heavenly light comes from the God of heaven who is the Lord. Wherefore, this universal confirmer is neither a man nor a beast but a beast-man.
[6] I asked the angel concerning the lot of such men, and whether they are able to be with the living, since man has life from heavenly light and from this light is his understanding. He answered: "When alone, such men are not able to think anything and so are not able to speak, but stand dumb as machines and as though in deep sleep; but as soon as they catch anything with their ears, they wake up." He then added, "Such do they become who inmostly are evil. Heavenly light cannot flow into them from above, but only a spiritual something through the world, and from this they have the faculty of confirming."
[7] When he had said this, I heard a voice from the angels who had explored the confirmer saying to me, "From what you have heard, form now a universal conclusion." I then formed the following: To be able to confirm whatsoever one pleases is not the mark of an intelligent man; but to be able to see that truth is true and falsity false, and to confirm it, is the mark of an intelligent man.
After this, I looked towards the group where the confirmers were standing with the crowd around them shouting "Oh, how wise!" and lo, a dusky cloud covered them, and in the cloud were flying screech-owls and bats. It was then told me: "The screech-owls and bats flying in the dusky cloud are the correspondences and thus the appearances of their thoughts; for in this world, confirmations of falsities so that they seem like truths are represented under the forms of birds of night whose eyes are illumined inwardly by a fatuous light, whereby they see objects in the dark as though in light. A fatuous spiritual light of this kind is in those who confirm falsities until they seem like truths. The falsities are then believed to be truths and are so called. All such men are in vision a posteriori and not in any vision a priori."


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