8628. The spirits from our earth who had thus boasted, were those who had made wisdom consist in things of mere memory, as in the languages; in the historical matters of the literary world; in bare experimental discoveries; in terms, especially such as are philosophical; and in other things of the kind; and had not used them as means for being wise; but had made wisdom consist in these things themselves. As these have not cultivated their rational faculty by the sciences as means, they have little perception in the other life, for they see only in terms and from terms, which there are like dust, and like thick clouds before the intellectual sight. And they who have been conceited by reason of this their learning, have still less perception. But they who have used the sciences as means for annihilating the things of faith, have totally destroyed their understanding, and see in thick darkness, like owls, falsity for truth, and evil for good.
 From their interaction with such the spirits of Jupiter had concluded that the sciences induce shade and cause blindness. But they were told that on this earth the sciences are the means of opening the intellectual sight, which sight is in the light of heaven, and instructs in such things as are of spiritual life; but as there reign the love of self and the love of the world, and consequently such things as are of merely natural and sensuous life, the sciences are to such the means of becoming insane; that is, of confirming themselves in favor of nature against the Divine, and in favor of the world against heaven.
 They were told further that in themselves the sciences are spiritual riches, and that they who possess them are like those who possess worldly riches, which in like manner are means of performing use to oneself, to the neighbor, and to our country, and also are means of doing evil; and also that they are like garments, which serve for use and adornment, and also for pride, as with those who desire to be honored from these alone. The spirits of the earth Jupiter understood these things well, but they marveled that any who are men should have set the things which lead to wisdom before wisdom itself; and that they should not see that to immerse the mind in such things, and not to elevate it beyond them, is to obscure and blind it.