38. Spirits of Mercury came to a certain spirit from our earth, who during his abode in the world had been most distinguished for his learning (it was Christian Wolf), desiring to receive information from him on various subjects. But when they perceived that what he said was not elevated above the sensual things of the natural man, because in speaking his thoughts were intent on honor, and be was desirous, as in the world (for in the other life every one is like his former sea, to connect various things into series, and from those series again and continually to form other conclusions, and thus from such conclusions to link together still more, which they did not see or acknowledge to be true, and which therefore they declared to be chains which neither cohered in themselves, nor with the conclusions, calling them the obscurity of authority; they then desisted from asking him further questions, inquiring only, how this is called, and how that; and because he answered these inquiries also by material ideas, and by no spiritual ones, they retired from him. For every one, in the other life, speaks spiritually, or by spiritual ideas, so far as he had believed in God, and materially, so far as he had not believed. An occasion here offering itself, it is permitted to mention how it is in the other life with the learned who acquire intelligence from their own meditation, kindled with the love of knowing truths, for the sake of truths, thus for the sake of uses abstracted from worldly considerations, and how with those who acquire intelligence from others, without any meditation of their own, as they are wont to do who desire to know truths solely for the sake of a reputation for learning, and thereby for honor or gain in the world; thus who desire to know truth, not for the sake of uses abstracted from worldly considerations: concerning such, it is allowed to relate the following experience. A certain sound was perceived penetrating from beneath, near the left side even to the left ear. I observed that they were spirits, who there attempted to force a way; but of what sort they were I could not know. However, when they had forced a way, they spoke with me, saying that they were logicians and metaphysicians, and that they had immersed their thoughts in such things, with no other end than to be accounted learned, and thus to be advanced to honor and wealth, lamenting that they now led a miserable life in consequence of having acquired those sciences with no other end, and thus not having cultivated thereby their rational; their speech was slow, and of a low tone. In the meantime there were two discoursing with each other above my head, and on inquiring who they were, it was said that one of them was most renowned in the learned world, and it was given me to believe that it was Aristotle. Who the other was, was not stated. The former was then let into the state in which he was during his life in the world; for every one may easily be let into the state of his life which he had in the world, because be has with him every state of his former life. But, what surprised me, he applied himself to the right ear, and there spoke, but in a hoarse tone of voice, yet sanely. From the purport of his speech I perceived, that he was altogether of a different genius from those schoolmen who first ascended, in that he evolved from his own thought the things he had written, and thence he produced his philosophy; so that the terms which he invented, and which he imposed on subjects of thought, were forms of expression by which he described interior things; also that he was excited to such things by a delight of the affection, and by a desire of knowing the things of the thought and understanding, and that he followed obediently whatever his spirit had dictated. Therefore he applied himself to the right ear, contrary to the custom of his followers, who are called schoolmen, and who do not go from thought to terms, but from terms to thoughts, thus in a contrary way; and many of them do not even proceed to thoughts, but stick solely in terms, which if they apply, it is to confirm whatever they desire, and to impose on falsities an appearance of truth according to their cupidity of persuading. Hence philosophical things are rather means of becoming insane than means of becoming wise; and hence they have darkness instead of light. Afterwards I spoke with him concerning the science of analysis, observing that a child, in half an hour, speaks more philosophically, analytically, and logically, than he could describe by a volume, inasmuch as all things of the thought, and thence of human speech are analytical, the laws whereof are from the spiritual world; and he who desires to think artificially from terms, is not unlike a dancer, who would learn to dance by the science of the moving fibers and muscles, in which science, if he should fix his mind whilst he is dancing, it would be almost impossible for him to move a foot; and yet without that science, he moves all the moving fibers throughout the whole body, and in subordination thereto be moves the lungs, the diaphragm, the sides, the arms, the neck, and other organs of the body, to describe all which volumes would not suffice; and it is similar with those who are desirous to think from terms. He approved of these things, saying, that to learn to think in that way, is proceeding in an inverted order, adding if any one will be so foolish, let him so proceed; but let him think continually concerning use, and from what is interior. He next showed me, what idea he had conceived of the Supreme Deity, namely, that he had represented Him to himself as having a human face, and encompassed about the head with a radiant circle; and that now be knew that the Lord is Himself that Man, and that the radiant circle is the Divine from Him, which not only flows into heaven, but also into the universe, disposing and ruling all things therein. He added, Whosoever disposes and rules heaven, also disposes and rules the universe, because the one cannot be separated from the other. He also said that he believed in one God only, whose attributes and qualities were distinguished by a variety of names, and that these names were by others worshiped as gods. There appeared to me a woman, who stretched out her hand, desiring to stroke my cheek, and when I wondered at this, he said that when he was in the world such a woman had often appeared to him, as it were stroking his cheek, and that her hand was beautiful. The angelic spirits said that such women sometimes appeared to the ancients, and were by them called Pallases, and that she appeared to him from the spirits, who, during their abode on earth, in ancient times, were delighted with ideas, and indulged in thoughts, but without philosophy: and because such spirits were with him, and were delighted with him, because he thought from the interior, therefore they representatively exhibited such a woman. Lastly, he informed me what idea he had conceived of the soul or spirit of man, which he called pneuma, namely, that it was an invisible vital principle, like somewhat of ether; and he said that he knew that his spirit would live after death, inasmuch as it was his interior essence, which cannot die, because it is capable of thinking; and that moreover he was not able to think clearly concerning it, but only obscurely, because he had not formed any thought about it from any other source than from himself, and a little also from the ancients. Moreover Aristotle is among sound spirits in the other life, and many of his followers are among the foolish.