(EU) - Worlds in Our Solar System, and Planets in the Starry Heavens, and Their Inhabitants, as Well as the Spirits and Angels There: From Things Heard and Seen

EU 165

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165. At length I spoke with the spirits of that earth about the belief of the inhabitants of our earth concerning the resurrection, that they cannot conceive of men's coming into the other life immediately after death, and then appearing like men as to face, body, arms, feet, and all the senses, both external and internal; and still less of their being then clothed with garments and having mansions and dwellings. And the reason is that most of them there think from the sensual things which are of the body, and therefore believe in the existence of nothing which they do not see and touch. And few of them can be drawn away from external sensual things to what is interior, and so be elevated into the light of heaven in which such interior things are perceived. Hence it is, that in regard to their soul or spirit they cannot have any idea of it as a man, but as of wind, air, or breath, without form, in which there is yet something vital. This is why they do not believe they are to rise until the end of the world, which they call the Last Judgment; when they believe the body, though fallen into dust and dissipated to all the winds, will be brought back and joined to its soul and spirit. I added that they are permitted to believe this, for the reason that those who think from what is external and sensual, as has been said, can form no other idea than that one's soul or spirit can live as a man in the human form, only by regaining the body which it bore about in the world. And therefore, unless it were said that this would rise again, they would reject in heart the doctrine of a resurrection and eternal life, as incomprehensible. But still that thought about the resurrection has this use in it, that they believe in a life after death, from which belief it follows that when they lie sick in bed and do not think as before from what is worldly and corporeal, thus not from things sensual, they then believe that they shall live immediately after death. They also speak then about heaven, and about the hope of living there immediately after death, laying aside their doctrine about the Last Judgment. I told these spirits further, that I sometimes wondered that when those who are in faith speak of the life after death, and of their friends who are dying or who have died, and do not at the same time think of the Last Judgment, they believe that they will live as men immediately after death. But this idea, as soon as the thought of the Last Judgment flows in, is changed into a material idea about their earthly body, that it is to be again joined to its soul. For they do not know that every man is a spirit as to his interiors, and that it is the spirit which lives in the body and in all its parts, and not the body of itself; and that it is from the spirit of every one that the body has its human form, and thus it is the spirit which is chiefly the man, and in a similar form, but invisible to the eyes of the body, yet visible to the eyes of spirits. Hence also when the sight of a man's spirit is opened, which takes place by the removal of the sight of the body, angels appear as men. Thus did the angels appear to the ancients, as related in the Word. I have also spoken sometimes with spirits whom I knew when they lived as men in the world, and have asked them whether they wished to be clothed again with their earthly body, as they had once thought. On hearing which, at the mere idea of conjunction with the body they fled away, being struck with amazement that in the world they should have thus thought from blind faith without any understanding.


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