(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 4319

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4319. It has been shown by much experience that not only a man, but a spirit, and also an angel, thinks, speaks, and does nothing from himself, but from others; nor these others from themselves, but again from others, and so on; and thus all and each from the First of life, that is, from the Lord, however completely this may appear to be as from themselves. This has often been shown to spirits who in the life of the body had believed and had confirmed themselves in the belief, that all things were in themselves, or that they think, speak, and act from themselves and their soul, in which life appears implanted. It has also been shown by living experiences (such as exist in the other life but are impossible in the world), that the evil think, will, and act from hell, and the good from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord), and that nevertheless both evils and goods appear as from themselves. Christians know this from the doctrine which they draw from the Word-that evils are from the devil, and goods from the Lord; but there are few who believe it. And because they do not believe it, they appropriate to themselves the evils which they think, will, and act; but the goods are not appropriated to them; for they who believe goods to be from themselves, claim and ascribe them to themselves, and thus place merit in them. They also know from the doctrine in the church, that no one can do anything good from himself, insomuch that whatever is from himself and his own is evil, however much it may appear as good; but this also few believe, although it is true.
[2] The evil who had confirmed themselves in this opinion - that they live from themselves, and consequently that whatever they think, will, and act is from themselves-when shown that the case is exactly in accordance with the doctrine, said that they now believed. But they were told that knowing is not believing, and that believing is internal, and is impossible except in the affection of good and truth, consequently is possible to none but those who are in the good of charity toward the neighbor. Being evil, the same spirits insisted that they now believed because they saw. But examination was made by an experience familiar in the other life, namely, by their being looked into by angels; and when they were looked into, the upper part of their head appeared to be withdrawn, and the brain to be rough, hairy, and dark, which showed what is the inward quality of those who have only a faith of memory knowledge, but not a true faith; and that to know is not to believe. For the head of those who know and believe appears as human, and the brain well ordered, snow-white, and lucid; for heavenly light is received by them. But with those who only know and suppose that they thereby believe, and yet do not believe, because they live in evil, heavenly light is not received, consequently neither are the intelligence and wisdom which are in that light; and therefore when they draw near to angelic societies, that is, to heavenly light, this light is turned with them into darkness. This is the reason why their brain appeared dark.


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