(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 477

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477. To the above shall be added the following Memorable Relation:
I heard a certain spirit, a young man recently from the world, boasting of his whoredoms and eager to catch laudation as being masculine above other men. Among the extravagances of his boasting, he poured forth this: "What is more dismal than to imprison one's love and to live with one woman alone? and what more delightful than to set love free? Who is not wearied from being with one woman alone? and who is not enlivened from being with many? What is sweeter than promiscuous liberty, variety, deflorations, the deceiving of husbands, and scortatory hypocrisies? Do not things obtained by cunning, deception, and stealthy arts delight the inmost regions of the mind?"
[2] Hearing this, the bystanders said, "Speak not so; you know not where you are and with whom. You are but lately come hither. Under your feet is hell, and above your head is heaven. You are now in a world which is in the middle between these two and is called the world of spirits. Here come all who depart out of the world, and here they are gathered, explored as to their nature, and prepared, the evil for hell and the good for heaven. Perhaps, from hearing priests in the world, you still keep in mind that whoremongers and harlots are cast down into hell and that chaste partners are taken up into heaven."
At this the novitiate laughed and said: "What is heaven? and what is hell? Is it not heaven where one is free? and is not he free who is allowed to love as many women as he pleases? And is it not hell where one is a slave? and is not he a slave who is obliged to stick to one?"
[3] An angel, looking down from heaven, heard these words, and in order that the young man might go no further in profaning marriages, he interrupted him and said, "Come up hither and I will show you in a living way what heaven is, and what hell and the nature of the hell for confirmed whoremongers."
He then showed him the way, and the young man went up. After being received, he was led first into a paradisal garden where were fruit-trees and flowers which from their beauty, pleasantness and fragrance filled the animus of all with the delights of life. Seeing these, he expressed his great admiration; but he was then in the external sight in which he had been when seeing like things in the world. In this sight he was rational, but in his internal sight, wherein whoredom played the chief role and occupied every least thought, he was not rational. Therefore, his external sight was closed and his internal sight opened. With this opened, he said, "What do I see now? is it not straw and sticks of wood? And what do I smell now? are they not bad smells? Where now are the things of paradise?" The angel said: "They are near by and at hand, but they do not appear before your internal sight which is scortatory, for that sight turns heavenly things into infernal, seeing only their opposites. Every man has an internal mind and an external, and so an internal sight and an external. With the evil, the internal mind is insane, and the external wise, while with the good, the internal is wise and from this the external also; and in the spiritual world a man sees objects according to the nature of his mind."
[4] From power given him, the angel then closed the young man's internal sight and opened his external. He then led him through the gates towards the center of the dwellings. There he saw magnificent palaces of alabaster, marble, and various precious stones, and beside them porticos, and columns round about, overlaid and encompassed with stupendous insignia and adornments. On seeing these, he was amazed and said, "What do I see? I see magnificent things in their true magnificence, and architecture in its true art."
Thereupon the angel again closed his external sight and opened his internal sight, which was evil, being filthily scortatory. Wan this was done, he cried out, saying, "What do I see now? Where am I? Where now are the palaces? and the magnificent things? I see heaps, ruins, and places full of holes!"
[5] After this he was brought back into his external state, and, being introduced into one of the palaces, saw the decorations on its gates, windows, walls, and ceilings, especially on the utensils, upon and around which were heavenly forms of gold and precious stones such as no words can describe nor any art portray; for they were above the ideas expressed by words, and above the notions of art. On seeing these, the young man again cried out, saying, "These are truly marvels such as eye has never seen." But then his internal sight was opened and the external closed as before, and being asked what he saw now, he replied, "Nothing but walls, here of rushes, there of straw, and yonder of fire-brands."
[6] He was then brought once more into his external state of mind, and maidens who were beauties, being images of heavenly affection, Were brought to him and addressed him with the sweet voice of their affection. On seeing and hearing them, his face changed and he returned of himself to his internals which were scortatory; and because these cannot endure anything of heavenly love and, on the other hand, cannot be endured by heavenly love, they both vanished, the maidens from the sight of the man, and the man from the sight of the maidens.
[7] After this the angel instructed him as to whence these inversions of the state of his sight came. He said: "I perceive that in the world from which you have come you were twofold, being one man inwardly and another outwardly. Outwardly you were a civil, moral, and rational man, While inwardly you were neither civil nor moral nor rational because you were a whoremonger and an adulterer. When such men are allowed to ascend into heaven and are there kept in their externals, they are able to see the heavenly things there; but when their internals are opened, then, instead of heavenly they see infernal things. [8] Know, however, that with every one in this world, his externals are successively closed and his internals opened. In this way they are prepared for heaven or for hell. And because the evil of whoredom defiles the internals of the mind more than any other evil, you must needs be brought down to the filthy things of your own love, and these are in hells where the caverns stink of excrement. Who cannot know from reason that in the spiritual world, what is unchaste and lascivious is impure and unclean, and thus that there is nothing which more pollutes and defiles a man and induces on him what is infernal. Take care, therefore, that you glory no more in your whoredom that therein you are a masculine man above others. I predict that you will become so feeble that you will scarcely know where your masculinity is. Such is the lot that awaits those who glory in the potency of whoredom."
After hearing this, the young man descended and returned to the world of spirits and to his former companions. He then spoke With them modestly and chastely, yet not for long.


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