5378. Some spirits came to me, but were silent. After a while, however, they spoke, yet not as many, but all as one. I noticed from their speech that they were such that they desired to know everything, and were eager to explain everything, and in this way to confirm themselves that a thing is so. They were modest, and said that they do nothing of themselves, but from others, although it appears to be from them. They were then infested by others, who were said to be those who constitute the province of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, and whom they answered modestly; yet these continued to infest and assail them, for such is the nature of the kidney spirits. And as they could not prevail against them by their modesty, they resorted to what was according to their nature, namely, to enlarging themselves, and thereby causing terror. Thereupon they seemed to become great, but only as a one, who so swelled in stature, that like Atlas he seemed to reach to heaven; a spear appeared in his hand, but still he did not wish to do any harm beyond exciting terror. In consequence of this the kidney spirits fled away, and then there appeared one who pursued them in their flight, and another who flew in front between the feet of that great one; moreover, that great one seemed to have wooden shoes, which he threw at the kidney spirits.
 Angels told me that those modest spirits who made themselves great were those who bear relation to the peritoneum. The peritoneum is the common membrane that surrounds and encloses all the viscera of the abdomen, as the pleura does all the viscera of the chest; and as it is so extensive, and relatively large, and also expansible, the spirits who belong to this province, when infested by others, are allowed to present themselves great in appearance, and at the same time to strike with terror, especially in the case of those who constitute the province of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder; for these viscera or vessels lie in the folds of the peritoneum, and are constrained by it. The wooden shoes represented the lowest natural things, such as the kidneys, ureters, and bladder absorb and carry off. (That shoes are the lowest natural things may be seen n. 259, 4938-4952.) And in saying that they do nothing of themselves, but from others, in this respect also these spirits bear relation to the peritoneum, which is also of such a nature.