75. The First Memorable Relation:
Once when meditating on conjugial love, my mind was seized with a desire to know what that love had been with those who lived in the Golden Age, and what it had been later with those who lived in the Ages that followed and which are named from silver, copper, and iron; and, knowing that all who had lived well in those Ages are in the heavens, I prayed the Lord that He would allow me to speak with them and be instructed. And lo, an angel stood by me and said: "I am sent by the Lord to be your guide and companion. First I will guide and accompany you to those who lived in the first age or period called GOLDEN"; and he added, "The way to them is hard. It lies through a dark forest through which no one can pass without a guide given him by the Lord."
 Being in the spirit, I girded myself for the journey, and we turned our faces towards the east. As we went on, I saw a mountain whose height extended above the region of the clouds. We passed through a great desert and came into the forest of which the angel had spoken. It was thick with trees of various kinds, and dark by reason of their density. The forest was intersected by many narrow paths, and the angel said: "These paths are so many tortuous paths of error, and unless his eyes are opened by the Lord to see the olive trees entwined with vine tendrils, and his steps directed from tree to tree, the traveler would wander off into the Tartarean shades which lie round about at the sides. This forest is such, to the end that it may guard the approach; for none but the primeval race dwells on that mountain."
 After entering the forest, our eyes were opened and here and there we saw olive trees entwined with vines from which hung clusters of grapes of a dark blue color. The trees were arranged in continuous gyres, and following these as they came into view we went round and round. At last we saw a grove of lofty cedars and on their branches some eagles. Seeing these, the angel said, "We are now not far from the top of the mountain."
We continued on, and lo, beyond the grove, a circular plain whereon male and female lambs were feeding. These were forms representative of the state of innocence and peace of those who dwelt on the mountain. We crossed this plain, and lo, in front and at the sides, in every direction as far as the eye could reach, were seen tabernacles after tabernacles to the number of many thousands. The angel then said: "We are now in the camp where dwells the Army of the Lord Jehovih, this being what they call themselves and their habitations. While living in the world, these most ancient peoples dwelt in tabernacles, and therefore they dwell in them now also. But let us bend our way to the south where are the wiser of them, that we may meet some one with whom to converse."
 Walking on, I saw at a distance three boys and three girls sitting at the door of one of the tents, but when we drew near, they were seen as men and women of middle stature. The angel then said: "At a distance, all the inhabitants of this mountain appear like little children, for they are in a state of innocence, and infancy is the appearance of innocence." On seeing us, the men ran up to us and said: "Whence are you, and how came you hither? Your faces are not of the faces of our mountain." In reply, the angel told them the means of our approach through the forest and the reason of our coming. Hearing this, one of the three men invited us to his tabernacle and took us in. The man was clothed with a mantle the color of hyacinth, and a tunic of white wool, and his wife with a crimson robe, beneath which on her bosom was a tunic wrought with fine needlework.
 Desiring in my thought to learn about the marriages of the most ancients, I looked now at the husband, now at his wife, and in their faces I observed the unity, as it were, of their souls. So I said, "You two are one." The man replied: "We are one; her life is in me and mine in her. We are two bodies but one soul. The union between us is like the union of the two tents in the breast which are called heart and lungs, she being my heart and I her lungs. But here, by heart we mean love and by lungs wisdom. Thus she is the love of my wisdom and I am the wisdom of her love. Therefore her love veils my wisdom from without, and my wisdom is in her love from within. Hence, as you said, the appearance in our faces of the unity of our souls."
 I then asked him: "If such is the union, can you look at any other woman than your own?" He replied: "I can; but as my wife is united to my soul, we two look together and then nothing of lust can enter in; for when I look at the wives of others, I look at them through my own wife whom alone I love. And because she, my wife, has a perception of all my inclinations, therefore, as an intermediary she directs my thoughts, and removes everything discordant. At the same time she imparts cold and horror for everything unchaste. Therefore it is as impossible for us here to look upon a companion's wife from lust as it is to look at the light of our heaven from Tartarean shade. With us therefore, there is no idea of thought, still less any word of speech, for the allurements of libidinous love." He could not utter the word whoredom because the chastity of their heaven strove against it.
Speaking to me, the angel guide then said, "You now hear the speech of the angels of this heaven, that it is the speech of wisdom; for they speak from causes."
 After this, while looking around, I saw their tabernacle. It seemed as though overlaid with gold, and I inquired as to the cause of this. The man replied: "It is from a flaming light which glitters like gold, and whenever we are in discourse concerning conjugial love, this irradiates and tinges the coverings of our tabernacle; for the heat from our sun, which in its essence is love, then bares itself and tinges the light, which in its essence is wisdom, with its own golden color. This is done because in its origin conjugial love is the sport of wisdom and love, man being born that he may be wisdom and woman that she may be the love of the man's wisdom. Hence, in conjugial love and from it come the delights of that sport between us and our wives. Here, for thousands of years, we have seen clearly that these delights are superlative and eminent in abundance, degree, and vigor, according to the worship among us of the Lord Jehovih, from whom inflows that heavenly union or marriage which is the union or marriage of love and wisdom."
 When he had finished speaking, I saw upon a hill in the center of the tabernacles a great light, and I asked, "Whence comes that light?" He replied, "It is from the sanctuary of the tabernacle of our worship."
I then asked him whether it was allowed to approach that tabernacle, and he said it was. Going to it, I then saw that both without and within, it was exactly like the tabernacle built for the sons of Israel in the wilderness, the pattern of which was shown to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exod. 25:40; 26:30), and I asked the man, "What is inside that sanctuary from whence comes so great a light?" He replied, "A tablet on which is the inscription, THE COVENANT BETWEEN JEHOVAH* AND THE HEAVENS." He said no more.
 Since we were then ready to depart, I asked him, "When living in the natural world, did any of you live with more than one wife?" He answered, "I know not one, for we could not think of more. Those who had thought of more have told us that the heavenly blessedness of their souls at once withdrew from the inmost parts of their bodies to the extremities, even to the fingernails, and with it the honorable badges of virility. When this was perceived, they were expelled from our land." Saying this, the man ran to his tent and returned with a pomegranate wherein was an abundance of golden seeds. This he gave to me, and I brought it away as a sign that we had been with those who had lived in the Golden Age. After a salutation of peace, we then departed and returned home.
* In Coronis, no. 37, where the present Relation is repeated is Jehovah; the Coronis, however, is a copy, the original MS. being lost.