7745. During my conversation with this spirit, some spirits betook themselves toward the front part of the head, where he was, and pressed upon him; whereupon he retired to one side and gave them place. The stranger spirits talked among themselves, but neither the spirits about me, nor I, understood what they said. I was instructed by angels that they were spirits from the earth Mars, who know how to talk together in such a way that the spirits present would neither understand nor perceive what they said. I wondered that such speech is possible, seeing that all spirits have one speech; and all speech flows from thought, and this consists of ideas, which in the spiritual world are in the place of words; and the ideas which are words, together with the thought itself before it becomes speaking thought, are plainly perceived in the other life. I was told that by a certain method by means of the lips and the face these spirits form ideas not intelligible to others, and that at the moment when they are speaking with one another by this means, they artfully withdraw their thoughts from others; taking especial care that nothing of affection shall manifest itself; for if anything of affection is perceived, the thought would then be open, because the thought flows from the affection. I was further instructed that those inhabitants of the earth Mars who make celestial life to consist in knowledges alone, and not in the life of love, have contrived such speech; yet not all of them; and that when these become spirits they retain it. These are they who were especially signified by the bird of stone; for to form speech by modifications of the countenance and foldings of the lips together with a removal of the affections and a withdrawal of the thoughts from others, is to deprive speech of its soul, and to make it like an image, and gradually also to make themselves so.