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Chapter 46

The Resuscitation of Man From the Dead and His Entrance Into Eternal Life.

When the body is no longer able to perform the bodily functions in the natural world that correspond to the spirit's thoughts and affections, which the spirit has from the spiritual world, man is said to die. This takes place when the respiration of the lungs and the beatings of the heart cease. But the man does not die; he is merely separated from the bodily part that was of use to him in the world, while the man himself continues to live. It is said that the man himself continues to live since man is not a man because of his body but because of his spirit, for it is the spirit that thinks in man, and thought with affection is what constitutes man. Evidently, then, the death of man is merely his passing from one world into another. And this is why in the Word in its internal sense "death" signifies resurrection and continuation of life [46.1].

446. There is an inmost communication of the spirit with the breathing and with the beating of the heart, the spirit's thought communicating with the breathing, and its affection, which is of love, with the heart [46.2]; consequently when these two motions cease in the body there is at once a separation. These two motions, the respiration of the lungs and the beating of heart, are the very bond on the sundering of which the spirit is left to itself; and the body being then deprived of the life of its spirit grows cold and begins to decay. This inmost communication of the spirit of man is with the respiration and with the heart, because on these all vital motions depend, not only in general but in every particular [46.3].

447. After the separation the spirit of man continues in the body for a short time, but only until the heart's action has wholly ceased, which happens variously in accord with the diseased condition that causes death, with some the motion of the heart continuing for some time, with others not so long. As soon as this motion ceases the man is resuscitated; but this is done by the Lord alone. Resuscitation means the drawing forth of the spirit from the body, and its introduction into the spiritual world; this is commonly called the resurrection. The spirit is not separated from the body until the motion of the heart has ceased, for the reason that the heart corresponds to the affection of love, which is the very life of man, for it is from love that every one has vital heat [46.4]; consequently as long as this conjunction continues correspondence continues, and thereby the life of the spirit in the body.

448. How this resuscitation is effected has both been told to me and shown to me in living experience. The actual experience was granted to me that I might have a complete knowledge of the process.

449. As to the senses of the body I was brought into a state of insensibility, thus nearly into the state of the dying; but with the interior life and thought remaining unimpaired, in order that I might perceive and retain in the memory the things that happened to me, and that happen to those that are resuscitated from the dead. I perceived that the respiration of the body was almost wholly taken away; but the interior respiration of the spirit went on in connection with a slight and tacit respiration of the body. Then at first a communication of the pulse of the heart with the celestial kingdom was established, because that kingdom corresponds to the heart in man [46.5]. Angels from that kingdom were seen, some at a distance, and two sitting near my head. Thus all my own affection was taken away although thought and perception continued. [2] I was in this state for some hours. Then the spirits that were around me withdrew, thinking that I was dead; and an aromatic odor like that of an embalmed body was perceived, for when the celestial angels are present every thing pertaining to the corpse is perceived as aromatic, and when spirits perceive this they cannot approach; and in this way evil spirits are kept away from man's spirit when he is being introduced into eternal life. The angels seated at my head were silent, merely sharing their thoughts with mine; and when their thoughts are received the angels know that the spirit of man is in a state in which it can be drawn forth from the body. This sharing of their thoughts was effected by looking into my face, for in this way in heaven thoughts are shared. [3] As my thought and perception continued, that I might know and remember how resuscitation is effected, I perceived the angels first tried to ascertain what my thought was, whether it was like the thought of those who are dying, which is usually about eternal life; also that they wished to keep my mind in that thought. Afterwards I was told that the spirit of man is held in its last thought when the body expires, until it returns to the thoughts that are from its general or ruling affection in the world. Especially was I permitted to see and feel that there was a pulling and drawing forth, as it were, of the interiors of my mind, thus of my spirit, from the body; and I was told that this is from the Lord, and that the resurrection is thus effected.

450. The celestial angels who are with the one that is resuscitated do not withdraw from him, because they love every one; but when the spirit comes into such a state that he can no longer be affiliated with celestial angels, he longs to get away from them. When this takes place angels from the Lord's spiritual kingdom come, through whom is given the use of light; for before this he saw nothing, but merely thought. I was shown how this is done. The angels appeared to roll off, as it were, a coat from the left eye towards the bridge of the nose, that the eye might be opened and be enabled to see. This is only an appearance, but to the spirit it seemed to be really done. When the coat thus seems to have been rolled off there is a slight sense of light, but very dim, like what is seen through the eyelids on first awakening from sleep. To me this dim light took on a heavenly hue, but I was told afterwards that the color varies. Then something is felt to be gently rolled off from the face, and when this is done spiritual thought is awakened. This rolling off from the face is also an appearance, which represents the spirit's passing from natural thought into spiritual thought. The angels are extremely careful that only such ideas as savor of love shall proceed from the one resuscitated. They now tell him that he is a spirit. When he has come into the enjoyment of light the spiritual angels render to the new spirit every service he can possibly desire in that state; and teach him about the things of the other life so far as he can comprehend them. But if he has no wish to be taught the spirit longs to get away from the company of the angels. Nevertheless, the angels do not withdraw from him, but he separates himself from them; for the angels love every one, and desire nothing so much as to render service, to teach, and to lead into heaven; this constitutes their highest delight. When the spirit has thus withdrawn he is received by good spirits, and as long as he continues in their company every thing possible is done for him. But if he had lived such a life in the world as would prevent his enjoying the company of the good he longs to get away from the good, and this experience is repeated until he comes into association with such as are in entire harmony with his life in the world; and with such he finds his own life, and what is surprising, he then leads a life like that which he led in the world.

451. This opening state of man's life after death lasts only a few days. How he is afterwards led from one state to another, and finally either into heaven or into hell, will be told in what follows. This, too, I have been permitted to learn by much experience.

452. I have talked with some on the third day after their decease, when the process described above (n. 449, 450) had been completed, especially with three whom I had known in the world, to whom I mentioned that arrangements were now being made for burying their bodies; I said, for burying them; on hearing which they were smitten with a kind of surprise, saying that they were alive, and that the thing that had served them in the world was what was being buried. Afterwards they wondered greatly that they had not believed in such a life after death while they lived in the body, and especially that scarcely any within the church so believed. Those that have not believed in the world in any life of the soul after the life of the body are greatly ashamed when they find themselves to be alive. But those that have confirmed themselves in that disbelief seek affiliation with their like, and are separated from those that have had faith. Such are for the most part attached to some infernal society, because they have also denied the divine and have despised the truths of the church; for so far as any one confirms himself against the eternal life of his soul he confirms himself also against whatever pertains to heaven and the church.

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Footnotes to Chapter 46

[46.1] In the Word "death" signifies resurrection, for when man dies his life still goes on (n. 3498, 3505, 4618, 4621, 6036, 6221).

[46.2] The heart corresponds to the will, thus to the affection which belongs to the love, while the respiration of the lungs corresponds to the understanding, thus to the thought (n. 3888).

From this the "heart" in the Word signifies the will and love (n. 7542, 9050, 10336).
The "soul" signifies understanding, faith, and truth; therefore "from the soul and from the heart" signifies what is from the understanding, faith, and truth, and what is from the will, love, and good (n. 2930, 9050).
The correspondence of the heart and lungs with the Greatest Man, or heaven (n. 3883-3895).

[46.3] The beating of the heart and the respiration of the lungs reign in the body throughout, and flow mutually into every part (n. 3887, 3889, 3890).

[46.4] Love is the being (esse) of the life of man (n. 5002).

Love is spiritual heat, and therefore the very vital itself of man (n. 1589, 2146, 3338, 4906, 7081-7086, 9954, 10740).
Affection is a continuation of love (n. 3938).

[46.5] The heart corresponds to the Lord's celestial kingdom, the lungs to His spiritual kingdom (n. 3635, 3886, 3887).

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