Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 3474

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

3474. A certain spirit came to me not long after he had departed this life. This I was able to deduce from the fact that he still did not know that he had entered the next life but supposed that he was living in the world. I perceived that he had been a person dedicated to scholarly pursuits, about which I spoke to him. But at that moment he was suddenly carried up on high, which amazed me. I presumed that he was one of those people who had aspired to high things, since such people are usually taken up on high; or else that he was one of those who imagined heaven to be far away up on high and who likewise are usually taken away up on high, so that from up there they may know that heaven does not exist up on high but in what is internal. But shortly after that I noticed that he was carried up to the angelic spirits who were in a forward position and slightly to the right, on the very threshold of heaven. From there he then spoke to me, saying that he saw things more exalted than human minds could ever take in. While all this was happening I was reading Deuteronomy 1, about the Jewish people - how the men were sent to explore the land of Canaan and what was in it. As I read it he said that he discerned nothing of that which occurs in the sense of the letter, only the things in the spiritual sense, and that these were marvels beyond his powers of description. This was merely at the threshold of the heaven of angelic spirits, so what must the marvels be within that heaven itself, and what must they be within the angelic heaven!

[2] Certain spirits who were with me at the time, and who had not previously believed that the Word of the Lord was of such a nature, began to repent of their unbelief. They said that in their present state they now believed because they had heard that spirit say he had heard, seen, and perceived that it was so. But other spirits continued in their unbelief, saying that it was not so but all a delusion. They also were therefore suddenly carried up, and spoke to me from where they were. They now confessed that it was anything but a delusion, for now they perceived from amid spiritual realities that it was so, their perception indeed being far keener than can possibly be imparted to any of the senses during the life of the body. Shortly afterwards others also were carried up into the same heaven. I had known one of them during his lifetime, and he bore similar witness. Among other things he also said that he was so dazed by the glory of the Word in its internal sense that he was unable to describe it. Speaking at this time with some kind of compassion he said it was remarkable that people on earth know nothing at all of such matters. On two occasions after this I saw others who had been carried up to the second heaven among the angelic spirits, and from there they spoke to me, while I was reading Deuteronomy 3 from beginning to end. They said that they understood none but the interior sense of the Word, declaring at the same time that there was not even the smallest part of a letter which did not have a spiritual sense within it that did not link with everything else in a very beautiful way. They also said that in the interior sense the names used in the Word mean real things. Thus these people as well were confirmed in the same knowledge of such things, for they had not previously believed that every single thing in the Word has been inspired by the Lord. This they also wished to affirm before others on oath, but they were not allowed to do so.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church