94. I saw a most beautiful flame of varying color, purple, and also bright red, and the colors with a beautiful ruddy glow from the flame, I also saw a certain hand, to which this flame adhered, at first on the back, afterward in the palm, and thence it played round the hand on all sides. This lasted for some little time. Then the hand with its flamy light was removed to a distance, and where it rested there was a bright light. In that brightness the hand receded, and then the flame was changed into a bird, which at first was of the same colors as the flame, and the colors glittering in like manner; but gradually the colors were changed, and with the colors the vigor of life in the bird. It flew round about and at first around my head, then forward into a certain narrow chamber, which appeared like a shrine; and as it flew farther forward, so its life receded, till at length it became as of stone, at first of a pearl color, afterward dark; but though without life, it was still flying. When the bird was flying around my head and was still in the vigor of life, a spirit was seen rising from below through the region of the loins to the region of the breast, who wished to take the bird away. But because it was so beautiful, the spirits around me prevented him; for their eyes were all fastened on it. The spirit however who rose up from below, endeavored strongly to persuade them that the Lord was with him, and thus that he did this from the Lord. And then, though most of them did not believe this, they no longer prevented him from taking away the bird. But as heaven flowed in at that moment, he could not hold it, and presently let it go free out of his hand. When this was done, the spirits around me who had intently watched the bird and its successive changes, spoke with one another about it, and this for a considerable time. They perceived that such a sight could not but signify something celestial. They knew that the flame signified celestial love and its affections; that the hand to which the flame adhered, signified life and its power; the changes of colors, varieties of life as to wisdom and intelligence; and the bird also the same, but with the difference that the flame signified celestial love and the things of that love, and the bird signified spiritual love and the things of that love (celestial love is love to the Lord, and spiritual love charity toward the neighbor), and that the changes of the colors and at the same time of the life in the bird, until it became as of stone, signified successive changes of spiritual life as to intelligence. They knew also that spirits who ascend from below through the region of the loins to the region of the breast, are in a strong persuasion that they are in the Lord, and hence believe that all things they do, even though evil, they do by the Lord's will. But yet they could not know from this who were meant by this appearance. At length they were instructed from heaven that the inhabitants of Mars were meant, that their celestial love, in which very many still are, was signified by the flame which adhered to the hand, and that the bird in the beginning, when in the beauty of its colors and the vigor of its life, signified their spiritual love; but that the bird's becoming as of stone without life, and at length of a dark color, signified such of the inhabitants as have removed themselves from the good of love and are in evil, and yet still believe that they are in the Lord. The same was signified by the spirit who rose up and wished to take away the bird.