2477. I once heard spirits speaking together of the fact that whatever is adopted as a principle, no matter what it may be, can be confirmed by innumerable things, until at length, to the man who has confirmed himself, it appears entirely true even though false; and that men can be more easily persuaded of a falsity than of a truth. In order that they might be convinced of this, it was proposed to them that they should think and speak together on the point as to whether it is useful to spirits to use the exterior memory (for spirits converse on such subjects in a manner far surpassing man's belief, or even conception, but each one in accordance with his affection). The spirits who were in favor of corporeal and worldly things confirmed the proposition in question by many reasons, such as that in this way they would have lost nothing, but would be men after death equally as before; that in this way they could come again into the world through man; that the delight of life is in the exterior memory; and that in no other faculty and endowment are there intelligence and wisdom; besides many other reasons by which they confirmed themselves in their principle, until it appeared to them true.
 But others then thought and spoke from the opposite principle, knowing that what they said was true, because it was from Divine order. They said that if spirits were permitted to use the exterior memory they would then be in similar imperfection as before, when they were men; that by so doing they would be in gross and obscure ideas, in comparison with those who are in the interior memory; and thus would not only become more and more foolish, but would also descend, and not ascend; thus would not live eternally; for to immerse themselves again in worldly and corporeal things would be to give themselves again into a state of death. They said also that if spirits were permitted to use the exterior memory the human race would perish; for every man is directed by the Lord through angels and spirits; and that if spirits were to flow into man from the exterior memory, he could not think from his own memory, but only from that of the spirit; thus man would come to be no longer in the enjoyment of his own life and his own freedom, but would be obsessed (the obsessions of former times being nothing else); besides other reasons.