95. By the bird of stone were also represented the inhabitants of that earth who in a strange manner transmute the life of their thoughts and affections into almost no life, concerning which I have heard as follows. There was a certain spirit above my head who spoke with me, and from the sound of his voice it was perceived that he was as it were in a state of sleep. In this state he spoke many things, and with such prudence that if he were awake he could not speak more prudently. It was given to perceive that he was a subject through which angels spoke; and that in that state he perceived and brought forth what they said,# for he spoke nothing but what was true. If anything flowed in from any other source, he admitted it indeed, but did not bring it forth. I questioned him about his state, and he said that this state was to him peaceful, and without any anxiety about the future; and that at the same time he performed uses, whereby he had communication with heaven. It was told me that such spirits in the Greatest Man have reference to the longitudinal sinus in the brain, which lies between its two hemispheres, and there he is in a quiet state, however the brain may be disturbed on both sides. When I was in conversation with this spirit, some spirits introduced themselves toward the fore part of the head, where he was, and pressed upon him; wherefore he withdrew to one side, and gave them place. The newly arrived spirits conversed with one another; but neither the spirits around me, nor I myself, understood what they were saying. I was instructed by angels that they were spirits from the earth Mars, who were skilled in talking with one another in such manner that the spirits present neither understood nor perceived anything. I wondered that such speech was possible, because all spirits have one kind of speech, which flows from the thought, and consists of ideas, that are heard as words in the spiritual world. It was said that those spirits form in a certain manner ideas expressed by the lips and the face, not intelligible to others, and at the same moment artfully withdraw their thoughts, taking special care that nothing of the affection should manifest itself, because if anything of the affection were perceived, the thought would then be manifest; for the thought flows from the affection, and is as it were in it. I was instructed further that the inhabitants of the earth Mars who place heavenly life in knowledges alone, and not in a life of love, contrived such speech, though not all of them; and that when they become spirits, they retain it. It is these who were signified in particular by the bird of stone; for to present speech by modifications of the countenance and foldings of the lips, with the removal of the affections and withdrawal of the thoughts from others, is to take the soul out of speech, and to render it like a mere image, and by degrees they also become similar. But although they think that they are not understood by others in what they say among themselves, still angelic spirits perceive each and everything that they speak, for the reason that from them no thought can be concealed. This was also shown them by living experience. I was thinking of this, that the evil spirits of our earth are not affected with shame when they infest others, and this thought flowed in with me from angelic spirits who perceived their speech. These spirits of Mars then acknowledged that this was what they were speaking of among themselves, and they marveled. Moreover, there were many things disclosed by an angelic spirit, both of what they spoke and of what they were thinking, notwithstanding they endeavored to withdraw their thoughts from him. Afterward those spirits flowed in from above into my face, and their influx was felt like a fine striated rain, which was a sign that they were not in any affection of truth and good, since that is represented by what is striated. They then spoke with me plainly, saying that the inhabitants of their earth speak with one another in like manner. It was then said to them, that this is evil, because in this way they obstruct internals, and recede from them to externals, which they also deprive of their life; and especially because it is not sincere to speak thus. For they who are sincere have no wish to speak nor even to think anything but what others may know, yea all, even the whole heaven. But they who do not wish others to know what they speak, judge concerning others, think evil of them, and well of themselves, and are at length carried by habit so far as to think and speak ill of the church, of heaven, and even of the Lord Himself. It was said that they who love knowledges, and not so much a life according to them, have reference to the interior membrane of the skull in the Greatest Man; but they who accustom themselves to speak without affection, and to draw the thought to themselves and withdraw it from others, have reference to that membrane when it is become bony, because from having some spiritual life they come to have no life.
# That communications are made through spirits sent forth by societies of spirits and angels to other societies, and that these emissary spirits are called subjects (n. 4403, 5856, 5983, 5985-5989).