(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 569

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569. Third Memorable Relation:
Every love in man breathes forth a delight by which it makes itself felt. It is breathed forth first into the spirit and from that into the body; and the delight of one's love, together with the pleasantness of thought, constitutes his life. This delight and pleasantness are felt by man only obscurely while he lives in the natural body, because that body absorbs and blunts them; but after death, when the material body is laid aside, and the covering or clothing of the spirit thus removed, man has a full sense and perception of these delights of love and pleasantnesses of thought, and, what is wonderful, sometimes even as odors. Because of this, all in the spiritual world are affiliated according to their loves, those in heaven according to theirs, and those in hell according to theirs.
[2] The odors into which, in heaven, the delights of loves are turned, are all perceived like the fragrances, sweet smells, pleasant exhalations, and delicious sensations that arise from gardens, flower-beds, fields and forests in the mornings in spring. But the odors into which the delights of the loves of those in hell are turned, are perceived like the pungent, fetid and putrid smells that arise from cesspools, dead bodies, and ponds full of rubbish and ordure; and, what is wonderful, the devils and satans there perceive these smells as balsams, aromatics and frankincense, refreshing their nostrils and hearts. In the natural world it is also given to beasts, birds, and worms to be associated according to odors, but not to men until they have laid aside their bodies as exuviae.
[3] On this account heaven is most distinctly arranged in accordance with all the varieties of the love of good, and hell, on the contrary, in accordance with all the varieties of the love of evil. It is owing to this opposition that there is a gulf between heaven and hell which cannot be passed; for those who are in heaven cannot endure any odor from hell, because it excites nausea and vomiting, and threatens them with swooning if they inhale it. The effect is similar upon those who are in hell, if they pass the middle line of that gulf.
[4] I once saw a certain devil, who at a distance had the appearance of a leopard (a few days before he had been seen among the angels of the lowest heaven, having the art to make himself an angel of light), who had passed beyond the middle line and was standing between two olive trees, yet did not perceive any odor offensive to his life, for the reason that there were no angels present. But the moment they approached he was seized with convulsions and fell down rigid in all his limbs; and then he appeared like a great serpent drawing himself up in folds, and at length gliding down through the opening, from which he was taken by his companions and carried into a cavern, and there by the rank odor of his own delight he was revived.
[5] Again, I once saw a satan punished by his companions. I asked why, and was told that with his nostrils stopped up he had gone near to those who were in the odor of heaven, and had returned and brought that odor with him on his clothing.
It has often happened that a putrid odor, like that of corpses, from some open cavern in hell, has painfully touched my nostrils and brought on vomiting.
From all this it can be seen why in the Word the sense of smell signifies perception, for it is often said that Jehovah smelled a sweet savor from the burnt-offerings; also that the anointing oil and the incense were made of fragrant substances; and on the other hand the children of Israel were commanded to carry out of their camps what was unclean in them, and to dig down and bury their excrements (Deut. 23:12, 13). This was because the camps of Israel represented heaven, and the desert without the camps represented hell.


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