5175. For when a man dies and enters the other life, his life is circumstanced like food, which is softly taken hold of by the lips and is then passed through the mouth, fauces, and esophagus, into the stomach, and this according to the nature that has been contracted in the life of the body by means of various activities. At first most spirits are treated gently, being kept in the company of angels and good spirits, which is represented by the food being first touched softly by the lips, and then tasted by the tongue to discover its quality. Food that is soft, and in which there is what is sweet, oily, and spirituous, is at once absorbed by the veins, and carried into the circulation; but food that is hard, and in which there is what is bitter, noisome, and but little nutritious, is mastered with more difficulty, being let down through the esophagus into the stomach, where it is churned in various ways and windings; and food that is still harder, more noisome, and innutritious, is thrust down into the intestines, and at last into the rectum, where first is hell; and finally it is cast out, and becomes excrement. It is similar with the life of man after death. He is at first kept in externals, and because in these he had led a civil and moral life, he is with angels and upright spirits; but after external things are taken away from him it becomes plain of what quality he had been inwardly in respect to his thoughts and affections, and finally in respect to his ends, his life remaining according to these last.