274. It has been granted me to see people who were born on islands, and who were rational in civil matters, but knew nothing whatever about God. In the spiritual world these look like sphinxes; but as they were born men, and thus have a capacity to receive spiritual life, they are instructed by angels, and are made alive by knowledge about the Lord as a Man. What man is of himself is made clear from those who are in hell. Among these there are some leaders and learned men who are not willing even to hear about God, and therefore cannot even utter the word God. These I have seen, and I have talked with them. I have also talked with some who burned with anger and fury when they heard anyone speaking about the Lord. Consider then, what kind of man one would be who had never heard anything about God, when such is the character of some who have talked about God, written about God, and preached about God. Such they are from their will, which is evil, and which, as before said, leads the understanding, and takes away any truth there is in it from the Word. If man of himself had been able to know that there is a God and a life after death, why has he not known that man is a man after death? Why does he believe that his soul or spirit is like mere wind or ether, having no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no mouth to speak, until it is joined with and made one with its corpse and skeleton? Given therefore, a doctrine hatched solely from the light of reason, would it not teach that self should be worshiped? This has been done for ages, and is still done now by those who know from the Word that God alone ought to be worshiped. From the selfhood of man no other worship can spring, not even the worship of the sun and moon.