(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 661

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661. To this I will add two Memorable Relations. First:
In the higher northern quarter near to the east in the spiritual world, there are places of instruction for boys, and for youths, and for men, and also for old men. All who die infants are sent to these places and educated in heaven; likewise all who are newcomers from the world and who wish to know about heaven and hell. This place is near the east, in order that all may be instructed by influx from the Lord; for the Lord is the east, because He is in the sun there, and the sun is pure love from Him; consequently the heat from that sun in its essence is love, and the light from it in its essence is wisdom; and these are inspired by the Lord from that sun into those who are instructed according to their ability to receive, and their ability to receive is according to their love of being wise. When their times of instruction are over, those who have become intelligent are sent away, and these are called disciples of the Lord. First, they are sent away to the west, and those who do not stay there go to the south, and some through the south to the east, and thus they are introduced into the societies where their abodes are to be.
[2] Once, when meditating upon heaven and hell, I began to wish for a universal knowledge of the state of each, knowing that one who knows universals is afterwards able to comprehend the particulars, because the latter are included in the former as parts in the whole. With this desire I looked toward that tract in the northern quarter near the east where the places of instruction were, and by a way then opened to me I went there, and entered into a college where there were young men. I went to the head teachers who were instructing them, and asked them whether they knew the universals relating to heaven and hell.
They said, "We have some little knowledge of them; but if we look toward the east to the Lord, we shall be enlightened and shall know."
[3] This they did, and then said, "The universals respecting hell are three, but they are diametrically opposite to the universals relating to heaven. The universals relating to hell are these three loves, the love of ruling from love of self; the love of possessing the goods of others from love of the world; and scortatory love. The universals relating to heaven opposed to these are the three loves, love of ruling from love of use; love of possessing the goods of the world from the love of being useful by means of them; and true marriage love."
When this had been said, after wishing them peace, I went away and returned home. And when I reached home, it was said to me out of heaven, "Examine those three universals that prevail above and below, and afterward we shall see them on your hand." They said "on your hand" because anything that a man examines with his understanding appears to the angels as if written on the hands; and this is why it is said in the Apocalypse that they received a mark on the forehead and on the hand (13:16; 14:9; 20:4).
[4] After this I examined the first universal love of hell, which was the love of ruling from love of self, and then the universal love of heaven corresponding thereto, which was the love of ruling from the love of uses; for I was not permitted to examine one love apart from the other because the understanding has no perception of one apart from the other, for they are opposites. In order therefore, that a perception of both may be obtained, they must be contrasted one with the other; as a beautiful and well-formed face is brought out more clearly by placing an ugly and deformed face beside it. While I was studying the love of ruling from love of self a perception was given me that this love is in the highest degree infernal, and therefore prevails with those who are in the deepest hell; and that the love of ruling from the love of uses is in the highest degree heavenly, and therefore prevails with those who are in the highest heaven.
[5] The love of ruling from the love of self is in the highest degree infernal, because ruling from love of self is ruling from what is one's own [proprium], and what is one's own is by birth evil itself, and evil itself is diametrically opposite to the Lord; consequently the more men enter into that evil the more they deny God and the holy things of the church, and worship self and nature. Let those, I pray, who are in that evil, examine themselves, and they will see. Moreover, this love is such that so far as loose rein is given it, which is done when no impossibility is in the way, it rushes on from step to step, and even to the most extreme; neither does it stop there, but if no further step is possible it grieves and groans. [6] With politicians this love so exalts itself that they wish to be kings and emperors, and if possible to rule over all things in the world, and to be called kings of kings and emperors of emperors; while among ecclesiastics the same love so exalts itself that they even wish to be gods, and so far as possible to rule over all the things of heaven and to be called gods. That neither of these in heart acknowledge any God, will be seen in what follows. But on the other hand those who wish to rule from the love of uses, have no wish to rule from themselves but only from the Lord, since the love of uses is from the Lord and is the Lord Himself. Such regard dignities only as means of performing uses; which they place far above dignities, while the others place dignities far above uses.
[7] While I was meditating upon these things it was said to me through an angel from the Lord, "Now you shall see, and it shall be proved to you by sight what that infernal love is."
Then the earth suddenly opened on the left, and I saw a devil coming up out of hell having on his head a square cap pressed down over his forehead even to the eyes, a face covered with pustules like those of a burning fever, his eyes fierce, and his breast swollen out into great prominence; from his mouth he belched smoke as from a furnace; his loins were actually on fire; instead of feet he had ankle bones without flesh; and from his body there exhaled a foul smelling and unclean heat.
At the sight of him I was terrified, and cried out, "Do not come here; tell me where you are from."
He answered hoarsely: "I am from the lower regions, where I live in a society of two hundred, which is preeminent over all other societies. All of us there are emperors of emperors, kings of kings, dukes of dukes, and princes of princes; there is no one there who is merely an emperor, or merely a king, duke, or prince; we there sit on thrones of thrones, and send forth mandates therefrom to all the world and beyond."
I then said to him, "Do you not see that from your hallucination about preeminence you have become insane?"
He answered, "How can you talk so, since we both actually appear to ourselves to be such, and also are acknowledged to be such by our companions?"
[8] On hearing this, I did not care to say again, "You are insane," because he was so from hallucination. It was given me to know that this devil when he lived in the world, was merely the steward of a certain house; and that then he was so elated in spirit, that in comparison with himself he despised the whole human race, and cherished the hallucination that he was nobler than a king or even an emperor. Owing to this pride he had denied God, and regarded all the sacred things of the church as of no moment to him, but as something for stupid common people.
At length I asked him, "How long will you two hundred thus glory among yourselves?"
He said, "Forever; but those among us who torture others for denying our preeminence, sink down; for we are allowed to glory, but not to inflict evil upon anyone."
Again I asked, "Do you know the lot of those who sink down?"
He said that they sink down into a certain prison, where they are called viler than the vile or the vilest, and are compelled to labor.
I then said to him, "Take care then, lest you sink down also."
[9] After this the earth again opened, but at the right, and I saw another devil rising out, upon whose head was a kind of miter bound around as it were with the coils of a snake, with its head standing out from the top. His face was leprous from the forehead to the chin, as were both of his hands also; his loins were bare and as black as soot, while through the blackness a fire like that of a hearth gleamed duskily; his ankles were like two vipers.
When the former devil saw this one he threw himself upon his knees and worshiped him. I asked him why he did so.
He said, "He is the God of heaven and earth; He is omnipotent."
I then asked the other, "What do you say to that?"
He replied, "What shall I say? I have all power over heaven and hell; the fate of all souls is in my hand."
I asked further, "How can this one who is an emperor of emperors so humble himself, and how can you receive his worship?"
He answered, "He is still my servant; what is an emperor in the sight of God? The thunderbolt of excommunication is in my right hand."
[10] I then said to him, "How can you rave so? In the world you were merely an ecclesiastic; and because you labored under the hallucination that you had the keys, and therefore the power to bind and to loose, you have worked up your spirit to such a height of madness that you now believe that you are God Himself."
Being angry at this, be swore that he was God, and that the Lord had no power in heaven "because," he said, "He has transferred it all to us. We need but to command, and heaven and hell reverently obey; if we send anyone to hell the devils at once receive him, as the angels do anyone we send to heaven."
I asked him further, "How many are there in your society?"
He said, "Three hundred; and all of us there are gods, but I am the God of gods."
[11] After this the earth opened beneath the feet of them both, and they sank down deep into their hells; and I was permitted to see that beneath their hells were workhouses, into which those fell who did violence to others. For his own hallucination remains with everyone in hell, and also his glorying therein, but he is not permitted to do evil to another. Such are those in hell, because man is then in his spirit, and when the spirit has been separated from the body it enters into a state of full liberty to act according to its affections and the thoughts therefrom.
[12] After this I was permitted to look into the hells of those spirits; and the hell where the emperors of emperors and kings of kings were, was full of all uncleanness, and they appeared like wild beasts of various kinds with fierce eyes. I looked also into the other hell, where the gods and the God of gods were; and in this the terrible birds of night, called the ochim and ijim appeared, flying around them. Thus did the images of their hallucination appear to me.
From all this it was clear what the political love of self is and what the ecclesiastical love of self is, that the latter makes men wish to be gods and the former to be emperors; and this they wish for and strive after, so far as loose rein is given to those loves.
[13] After these sad and horrible sights, I looked around and saw two angels not far from me, conversing. One was clad in a woolen robe gleaming with a purple glow, with a tunic under it of shining linen; the other in like garments of a scarlet color, with a miter, on the right side of which some sparkling stones were set. I went to them, and with a salutation of peace, reverently asked, "Why are you here below?"
They replied, "We have been sent down here from heaven by the Lord's command to speak with you about the happy lot of those who desire to rule from the love of uses. We are worshipers of the Lord; I am the prince of a society, the other is its high priest."
And the prince said that he was the servant of his society, because he served it by performing uses; while the other said that he was a minister of the church there, because he served them by ministering sacred things for the use of their souls; and that they were both in unceasing joy from the eternal happiness that was in them from the Lord; also that all things in that society were resplendent and magnificent - resplendent with gold and precious stones, and magnificent with palaces and gardens. "This," he said, "is because our love of ruling is not from love of self, but from the love of uses; and as the love of uses is from the Lord, all good uses in the heavens are resplendent and refulgent; and because in our society we are all in that love, the atmosphere there appears golden on account of the light it derives from the flame of the sun, which flame corresponds to that love."
[14] At these words a like sphere appeared to me surrounding them, and a sense of something aromatic came from it, as I also told them, and I begged them to add something more to what they had said about the love of use. And they continued, "The dignities which we enjoy we indeed sought, but for the sole end of being more fully able to perform uses and to extend them more widely. Moreover, we are surrounded by honor, and we accept it not on our own account, but for the good of the society. For our brethren and companions there, who are of the common people, hardly know otherwise than that the honors of our rank reside in us, and thus that the uses we perform are from us. But we feel otherwise; we feel that the honors of our rank are outside of ourselves, and that they are like the garments with which we are clothed; while the uses we perform are from a love of uses that is within us from the Lord, and this love acquires its blessedness from a sharing with others by means of uses. And we know by experience that so far as we perform uses from a love of uses, that love increases, and with it the wisdom by which the sharing is effected; but so far as we retain the uses in ourselves, and do not share them, the blessedness perishes; and then use becomes like food retained in the stomach and not diffused throughout the body to nourish it and its various parts, but remains undigested and causes nausea. In a word all heaven is nothing but a containant of uses from things first to things last. What is use but the actual love of the neighbor? And what keeps the heavens together but this love?"
Having heard this, I asked, "How can anyone know whether he performs uses from love of self or from a love of uses? Every man, both good and bad, performs uses and performs them from some love. Suppose a society in the world consisting of devils only, and another consisting of angels only; and I am of the opinion that the devils in their society, moved by the fire of love of self and the splendor of their own glory, would perform as many uses as the angels in theirs. Who then can know from what love or from what origin uses proceed?"
To this the two angels replied, "Devils perform uses for the sake of themselves and their reputation, in order that they may be exalted to honors, or acquire wealth; but angels perform uses not for such reasons, but for the sake of the uses from love of uses. Man is unable to distinguish these two kinds of uses, but the Lord does. All who believe in the Lord and shun evils as sins, perform uses from the Lord; but all who do not believe in the Lord and do not shun evils as sins, perform uses from, themselves and for their own sake. This is the distinction between the uses performed by devils and those performed by angels."
When this had been said the two angels went away; and at a distance they appeared to be carried in a chariot of fire like Elijah and taken up to their heaven.


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