279. III. SO FAR AS EVILS ARE REMOVED THEY ARE REMITTED. It is an error of the present age to believe
1. That evils are separated from man and indeed cast out when they are remitted; and
2. That the state of man's life can be changed in a moment, even to its opposite, so that from being wicked he can become good, and consequently can be brought out of hell and straightway transferred to heaven, and this by the immediate mercy of the Lord.
3. Those, however, who entertain this belief and opinion do not in the least know what evil is and what good is; and they know nothing whatever of the state of man's life.
4. Moreover, they are totally unaware that affections, which belong to the will, are nothing but changes and variations in state of the purely organic substances of the mind; and that thoughts, which belong to the understanding, are nothing but changes and variations in the form of these substances; and that memory is a permanent state of these changes.
From a knowledge of these things it may be clearly seen that no evil can be removed except by successive stages, and that the remission of evil is not its removal. These things are stated here in a summarised form; and unless they are demonstrated they may indeed by recognised but they cannot be comprehended; and what is not comprehended is vaguely defined like a wheel which is kept spinning round by the hand. Therefore, the propositions just stated must now be demonstrated one by one in the order in which they are set forth.
 First: It is an error of the present age to believe that evils are separated and indeed cast out when they are remitted. It has been granted me to know from heaven that no evil into which man is born and to which he has actually habituated himself is separated from him, but is only so far removed that it does not appear. Before that, I held the belief entertained by most people in the world, that when evils are remitted they are cast out, and are washed and wiped away as dirt from the face by water. This, however, is not the case with evils or sins. They all remain, and when after repentance they are remitted, they are moved from the centre to the outskirts; and then what is in the centre, because it is directly under view, appears as in the light of day, and what is at the outskirts is in the shade, and sometimes as it were in the darkness of night. As evils are not separated but only removed, that is, relegated to the outskirts, and as a man may pass from the centre to the parts round about, it may also happen that he can return to his evils which he supposed had been cast out. For man is of such a nature that he can pass from one affection into another, and sometimes into an opposite one, and thus from one centre to another, that affection in which he is for the time being constituting the centre, for he is then in its joy and in its light.
 There are some who after death are raised up by the Lord into heaven because they have lived well, but who yet have carried with them the belief that they are clean and pure from sins and therefore are not in a state of guilt. These are at first clothed in white garments in accordance with their belief; for white garments signify a state purified from evils. Later, however, they begin to think as they did in the world that they are as it were washed from all evil, and so to boast that they are no longer sinners like other men. Now this can hardly be separated from a certain elation of mind (animus) and a measure of contempt for others compared with themselves. Therefore, in order that they may be removed from their ill-founded belief they are sent down from heaven and permitted to enter upon the evils which they practised in the world; and at the same time they are shown that they are in hereditary evils, of which they were ignorant before. When they have thus been induced to recognise that their evils have not been separated from them but only removed, and consequently that of themselves they are impure, and indeed that they are nothing but evil, and that they are withheld from evil and kept in good by the Lord, and that this only appears to them as of themselves, they are again raised up by the Lord into heaven.
 Second: It is an error of the present age to believe that the state of man's life can be changed in a moment, so that from being wicked he can become good, and consequently can be brought out of hell and straightway transferred to heaven, and this by the immediate mercy of the Lord. Those are in this error who separate charity and faith, and place salvation in faith alone; for they suppose that merely thinking and uttering the words which state their faith, if it is done with assurance and confidence, is what justifies and saves. Moreover, many suppose that this is effected instantaneously, and, if not before, about the last hour of a man's life. These cannot but believe that the state of a man's life can be changed in a moment, and that he can be saved by the exercise of immediate or direct mercy. That the mercy of the Lord, however, is not immediate, and that a man cannot from being wicked become good in a moment, and can only be brought out of hell and transferred to heaven by the continual operation of the Divine Providence from infancy right on to the end of his life, will be seen in the last chapter of this treatise. At this point this only need be observed, that all the laws of the Divine Providence have for their end the reformation and thus the salvation of man; and consequently the reversal of his state, which by birth is infernal, to the opposite state, which is heavenly. This can only be effected step by step as man, withdrawing from evil and its delight, enters into good and its delight.
 Third: Those who entertain this belief do not in the least know what evil is and what good is. They do not know that evil is the delight of the lust of acting and thinking contrary to Divine order, while good is the delight of the affection of acting and thinking according to Divine order; nor do they know that there are myriads of lusts entering into and composing every individual evil, and myriads of affections entering into and composing every individual good, and that these myriads are in such connected order in man's interiors that it is not possible to change one without at the same time changing all. Those who do not know this may believe or suppose that evil, which to them appears to be one single entity, can easily be removed; and that good, which also appears to be one single entity, can be introduced into its place. As these do not know what evil is and what good is they cannot but suppose that there is such a thing as instantaneous salvation and also immediate mercy; but it will be seen in the last chapter of this treatise that these are not possible.
 Fourth: Those who believe in instantaneous salvation and immediate mercy do not know that affections, which belong to the will, are nothing but changes of state of the purely organic substances of the mind, and that thoughts, which belong to the understanding, are nothing but changes and variations in the form of these substances, and that memory is a permanent state of these changes and variations. Everyone acknowledges, when it is stated, that affections and thoughts exist only in substances and their forms, which are subjects; and as these exist in the brain,* which is full of substances and forms, they are said to be purely organic forms. No one who thinks rationally can help laughing at the fanciful notions of some that affections and thoughts do not exist in forms that are substantiated, but that they are exhalations formed into shapes by heat and light like images appearing in the atmosphere. For thought can no more exist apart from a substantial form than sight apart from its form which is the eye, hearing apart from its form which is the ear, and taste apart from its form which is the tongue. If you examine the brain you will see innumerable substances, and likewise fibres; you will also see that everything in it is organised. What need is there of any other than this ocular proof?
 The question arises, What is affection and what is thought in the mind? This may be inferred from all the things in general and in particular in the body where there are many viscera, each fixed in its own place and all performing their own functions by changes and variations of state and form. It is well known that they are engaged in their own operations - the stomach, the intestines, the kidneys, the liver, the pancreas, and the spleen, the heart and the lungs, each organ in its respective operation. All these operations are kept in motion from within, and to be moved from within is to be moved by means of changes and variations of state and form. Hence it may be evident that the operations of the purely organic substances of the mind are of a similar nature, with this difference, that the operations of the organic substances of the body are natural, while those of the mind are spiritual, and that both act together as one by correspondences.
 The nature of the changes and variations of state and form in the organic substances of the mind, which are affections and thoughts, cannot be shown to the eye; but still they may be seen as in a mirror from the changes and variations in the state of the lungs in speaking and in singing. There is, moreover, a correspondence; for the sound of the voice in speaking and singing, and also the articulations of sound, which are the words of speech, and the modulations of singing, are caused by means of the lungs, and sound corresponds to affection and speech to thought. Further, sound and speech are produced by affection and thought; and this is effected by changes and variations in the state and form of the organic substances in the lungs, and from the lungs through the trachea or windpipe, in the larynx and glottis, then in the tongue and finally in the lips. The first changes and variations of the state and form of sound take place in the lungs, the second in the trachea and larynx, the third in the glottis by the various openings of its orifice, the fourth in the tongue by its various adaptations to the palate and teeth, and the fifth in the lips by their various modifications of form. Hence it may be evident that the mere changes and variations, successively continued, in the state of organic forms produce sounds and their articulations, which are speech and singing. Now, since sound and speech are produced from no other source than the affections and thoughts of the mind, for they exist from these and are never apart from them, it is clear that the affections of the will are changes and variations in the state of the purely organic substances of the mind, and that the thoughts of the understanding are changes and variations in the form of those substances, as is the case in the pulmonary substances.
 As affections and thoughts are simply changes in the state of the forms of the mind, it follows that memory is nothing else than a permanent state of these changes. For all changes and variations of state in organic substances are such that once they have become habitual they are permanent. Thus the lungs are habituated to produce various sounds in the trachea, to vary them in the glottis, to articulate them in the tongue, and to modify them in the mouth; and when once these organic activities have become habitual such sounds are in the organs and can be reproduced. That these changes and variations are infinitely more perfect in the organs of the mind than in those of the body is evident from what has been said in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM (n. 199-204),** where it is shown that all perfections increase and ascend with degrees and according to them. On this subject more may be seen below (n. 319).
* Original Edition and Tafel Latin edition (1855) have "incerebris;" Worcester Latin edition (1899) changes to "in cerebro."
** Original Edition has "n. 119-204."