15. Another cause of such a belief in the man of the church is, that he believes that no one can go to heaven or hell before the time of the Last Judgment; of which he has conceived this opinion that the visible world is then to perish, and a new one will come into existence, and that then the soul will return into its body, and from their conjunction man will again live a man. This belief involves another about the angels, that they were created from the beginning; for it is impossible to believe that heaven and hell are from the human race, when it is believed that no man goes there till the end of the world. But in order that man may be convinced that it is not so, it has been granted me to have fellowship with angels, and also to speak with those who are in hell, and this now for many years, sometimes continuously from morning even to evening, and thus to be informed concerning heaven and hell; to the end that the man of the church may no longer remain in his erroneous belief, about a resurrection at the day of judgment, about a state of the soul in the interval, as well as about angels, and about the Devil; which belief, since it is a belief in falsity, induces darkness; and with those who think of such things from their own intelligence, brings on doubt, and at length denial; for they say in heart, how can so vast a heaven, and so many stars, with sun and moon, be destroyed and dissipated? and how can the stars fall from heaven upon the earth, which yet are larger than the earth? and how can bodies, eaten up by worms, consumed by putrefaction, and scattered to all the winds, be collected again for its own soul? in the meantime, where is the soul, and what is it without the senses which it had in the body? with such like sayings on matters, which being incomprehensible, fall not within belief, and destroy in many the faith in man's eternal life, in heaven and hell, and with them, in all the remaining things of the faith of the church. That faith has thus been destroyed is evident from those who say, Who ever came from heaven and told us that it exists? What is hell? Is it anything at all? What is the meaning of man's being tormented with fire to eternity? What is the day of judgment? Has it not been expected for ages in vain? and many more questions which involve a denial of all things. Lest therefore, they who think thus (as do many who, from their knowledge in worldly matters are reputed skilful and learned), should any longer disturb and seduce the simple in faith and heart, and induce infernal darkness concerning God, heaven, eternal life, and other subjects dependent upon these, the interiors of my spirit have been opened by the Lord, and thus it has been granted one to speak with all those of the deceased whom I ever knew in the life of the body, with some for days, with some for months, and with some for a year, and also with so many others, that I should come short if I reckoned them at an hundred thousand, of whom many were in the heavens, and many in the hells. I have also spoken with some two days after their decease, and told them that solemn preparations were then making for their funerals; to which they said, that it was well to reject that which had served them for a body and its functions in the world: and they desired me to say that they are not dead, but alive and equally men as before, and that they had only passed out of one world into another; and they did not know that they had lost anything, since they are in a body and its senses as before, and in intellect and will as before, and have like thoughts and affections, like sensations, pleasures, and desires, as in the world. Most of those newly deceased, when they saw that they were living men as before, and in a similar state (for after death the state of every one's life is at first similar to what it was in the world, but is successively changed with him either into heaven or into hell), were affected with new joy at being alive, and said that they had not believed this. But they greatly wondered that they had been in such ignorance and blindness concerning the state of their own lives after death; and more especially, that the man of the church is in such a state, when yet he of all in the world can be in light concerning them.# Then for the first time they saw the cause of this blindness and ignorance, which is, that external things, which are worldly and corporeal, had occupied and filled their minds to such an extent, that they could not be elevated into the light of heaven and behold the things of the church, which are beyond its doctrinals. For mere darkness inflows from corporeal and worldly things, when they are so much loved as they are at the present day, when man wishes to think of the things of heaven, beyond the dictate of the doctrine of faith of his church.
# At this day few in Christendom believe that man rises again immediately after death, Pref. to chap. 16 of Gen. and (n. 4622, 10758). But at the time of the Last judgment, when the visible world is to perish (n. 10,591). The cause of such belief (n. 10594, 10758). Nevertheless man does rise again immediately after death, and that then he is a man as to each and all things (n. 4527, 5006, 5078, 8939, 8991, 10594, 10758). The soul, which lives after death, is man's spirit, which is the real man in the man, and which also in the other life is in a perfect human form (n. 322, 1880, 1881, 3633, 4622, 4735, 5883, 6054, 6605, 6626, 7021, 10597). The same from experience (n. 4527, 5006, 8939) And from the word (n. 10597). What in meant by the dead being seen in the holy city (Matt. xxvii. 53) is explained (n. 9229). How man is raised from the dead; by experience (n. 168-189). Of his state after resuscitation (n. 317-319, 2119, 5070, 10596). False opinions about the soul and the resurrection (n. 444, 445, 4527, 4622, 4658).