6053. On influx, and on the interaction of the soul with the body.
Nothing whatever can be known or even thought about influx, and about the interaction of the soul with the body, unless it is known what the soul is, and also something of its nature. If nothing is definitely known about the soul, nothing can be said about its influx and interaction. For how can the communication of two parts be thought of in the total absence of knowledge about the nature of one of them? That complete ignorance prevails about the nature of the soul, especially in the learned world, is evident from the fact that some believe it to be an aerial thing, others something flaming or fiery, others a purely thinking entity, others a general vital force, and others a natural activity. And what is a still further proof of the prevailing ignorance about the nature of the soul is that various places in the body are assigned it, some placing it in the heart, some in the brain and its fibers, others in the corpora striata, others in the ventricles, and others in a small gland; some in every part, but in so doing they conceive of a vitality such as is common to every living thing. From all this it is evident that nothing is known about the soul, and this is the reason why all that has been asserted on the subject is conjectural. And as in this way men could have no idea about the soul, very many have not been able to avoid the belief that the soul is a mere vital thing that is dissipated when the body dies. And this is the reason why the learned have less belief in the life after death than the simple; and because they do not believe in it, neither can they believe in the things which belong to that life, which are the heavenly and spiritual things of faith and love. This also appears from the Lord's words in Matthew:
Thou hast hid these things from the wise and intelligent, and hast revealed them unto babes (Matt 11:25).
Seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand (Matt. 13:13).
For the simple have no such thoughts about the soul; but believe that they will have after death; in which simple faith, unknown to them, there is hidden the belief that they will live there as men, will see angels, will speak with them, and will enjoy happiness.