(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 568

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568. Second Memorable Relation:
What pious and wise man does not wish to know his life's lot after death? I will therefore set forth plainly some general truths in order that it may be known.
Every man, when, after death, he feels that he is still alive, and that he is in another world, and hears that heaven, where there are eternal joys, is above him, and hell, where there are eternal sorrows, is beneath him, is at first remitted into his externals, in which he was in the former world; and he then believes that he is certainly going to heaven, and talks intelligently and acts prudently.
And some then say, "We have lived morally, we have pursued honesty, we have not done evil purposely." Others say, "We have frequented churches, heard masses, kissed sacred images, and on our knees poured out prayers." Others again, "We have given to the poor, helped the needy, read pious books, and also the Word," with other like things.
[2] But when they have said these things, angels approach and say, "All that you have mentioned you have done in externals, but you do not yet know what you are in your internals. You are now spirits in a substantial body, and the spirit is your internal man. It is this in you that thinks what it wills and wills what it loves; and that is the delight of its life. Every man from infancy begins life from externals, and learns to act morally and talk intelligently; and when he begins to gain some idea of heaven and its happiness, he begins to pray, to frequent churches, and to observe the solemnities of worship; and yet when evils spring forth from their native fountain, he hides them in his mind's bosom, and also ingeniously covers them over with reasonings from fallacies to such an extent that he does not even know that evil is evil. And then because the evils are veiled over and covered up as it were with dust, he thinks no more about them, except to guard against their appearing before the world. Thus he endeavors merely to lead a moral life in externals, and thus he becomes a double man, a sheep in externals, and a wolf in internals; and he is like a golden box containing poison, or like a man with a foul breath holding something aromatic in his mouth to prevent those near him from perceiving it; or he is like a mouse's skin that smells of balsam.
[3] You said that you had lived morally, and had followed pious pursuits; but tell me, have you ever examined your internal man and there perceived any lusting after revenge even to murder, after libidinous living even to adultery, after defrauding even to theft, after lying even to false witness? In four of the commandments of the Decalogue it is said, Thou shalt not do these things, and in the two last, Thou shalt not lust after them. Do you believe that in these things your internal man has been like your external? If you do you are perhaps deceived."
[4] To this they replied, "What is the internal man? Is not the internal and the external one and the same? We have heard from our ministers that the internal man is nothing but faith, and that oral piety and a morality of life are the signs of it, because they are its operation."
To this the angels answered, "Saving faith is in the internal man, and charity likewise; and from them come Christian fidelity and morality in the external man. But if the above mentioned lusts remain in the internal man, thus in the will and therefrom in the thought, and if in consequence you love these things interiorly, and yet act and speak otherwise in externals, evil is then with you above good, and good below evil; consequently, however you may talk as if from the understanding, and act from love, evil is within and thus is veiled over; and then you are like cunning apes which perform actions like those of men, but the human heart is wholly lacking. [5] But what your internal man is, of which you know nothing, because you have not examined yourselves and afterwards repented, you will see after a while, when you put off your external man and are let into the internal. When this takes place you will no longer be recognized by your companions, nor even by yourselves. Wicked men, who were moral, I have then seen to be like wild beasts, looking at the neighbor with savage eyes, burning with deadly hatred, and blaspheming God, whom they adored while in the external man."
Hearing this they withdrew; and the angels then said, "You will see your life's lot after a little; for your external man will soon be taken away from you, and you will enter into the internal, which is now your spirit."


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