7 Day Prayer Miracle

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that goodwill was the most important thing in the church. He did it. Then I asked him to make it true that goodwill has nothing to do with the church. In both cases he fleshed out and adorned his argument with seemingly good material to the point where others present looked at each other and said, "He is wise, isn't he!"

I said to him, "Don't you know that goodwill is living a good life and having faith is believing the right things? Isn't it true that people who live a good life have a good faith? Therefore having faith is part of goodwill, and goodwill is part of having faith. Don't you see that this is the truth?"

"I will make it true and then see," he replied. He did so and said, "Now I see it." Yet he soon made its opposite true and said, "I also see that this is true."

We laughed and said, "Aren't they opposites? How can you see two opposite things as both being true?"

Annoyed, he answered, "You're mistaken. They are in fact both true, since nothing is true except what people make out to be true."

[3] Standing near him there was someone who had been a highranking ambassador in the world. He was astounded at this and said to the provider of arguments, "I will admit that something similar goes on in the world, but you are nevertheless insane. If you can, make it true that light is darkness and darkness is light."

The provider of arguments replied, "I'll do it with ease! What is light and darkness other than a state of our eye? Doesn't light change into shadow when our eye comes out of the bright sun and also when we stare intently straight at the sun? We all know that the state of our eye then changes so that light looks like a shadow. And the reverse: when the state of our eye stabilizes, the shadow looks like light. Night birds see the darkness of night as the light of day and the light of day as the darkness of night, and the sun itself looks to them like nothing but a dark and dusky ball. If we had eyes like a night bird, which would we call light and which would we call darkness? What then is light but a state of our eye, and if it is only a state of our eye, isn't light darkness and darkness light? Therefore the first point is true and the second point is true."

[4] Because this argumentation was actually convincing to some people, I said, "I notice that the provider of arguments doesn't know there is such a thing as true light and deceptive light. Both of these types of light appear to be light, but faint, deceptive light is not a true light. Relative to true light it is darkness. Night birds function in faint, deceptive light. Inside their eyes there is an obsession to hunt and devour birds. This light enables their eyes to see at night. Similarly, cats'

eyes in basements look like candles545 because of the faint, deceptive light inside their eyes from their obsession to hunt and devour rats and mice. Clearly then, the light of the sun is true light; the light of obsession is faint, deceptive light."

[5] After that the ambassador asked the provider of arguments to make it true that crows are white, not black. He responded, "This too I will do with ease."

"Take a needle or a razor," he said, "and cut open the feathers of a crow. Then pluck the feathers out and look at the crow's skin. Aren't they both white? What is the surrounding blackness then except a shadow that shouldn't be used as a basis for judging the color of the crow? Blackness is only a shadow, as people skilled in the science of optics will tell you. Or grind a black stone or a black piece of glass to a fine powder and you'll see that the powder is white."

The ambassador replied, "But in fact the crow looks black to our eyes."

The provider of arguments rejoined, "Are you, a human being, really sure you want to think about something on the basis of appearances? On that basis it is indeed acceptable to speak of crows as being black, but you cannot think it. For another example, on the basis of appearance it is fine to say that the sun rises and sets, but because you are human you cannot think that, because the sun stands still while the earth moves around it. It is the same with the crow. Appearance is appearance. Say whatever you want—crows are completely and utterly white. In fact, they become white as they age. I've seen it myself."

The people nearby turned to look at me, so I said, "It is true that the shafts of crows' feathers are whitish, as is their skin. This is true, however, not only of crows but also of all the birds in the universe; and we all distinguish birds on the appearance of their color. If this were not the case, we would say that every bird is white, which would be pointless and absurd."

[6] Then the ambassador asked him, "Can you make it true that you yourself are insane?"

The provider of arguments said, "I could, but I don't want to. Who isn't insane?"

Then people asked the provider of arguments to say from the heart whether he was joking or whether he really believed that there is no truth except what people make out to be true. He replied, "That is what I believe, I swear."

Afterward this provider of arguments that support all points of view was sent to angels who had the ability to assess his nature. After the assessment they said, "He does not possess even a speck of understanding. In his case, everything above his rational faculty is closed off; only what is below it is opened up. Above people's rational faculty there is spiritual light; below it there is earthly light. The nature of earthly light with people is that it can provide arguments to support whatever they want; but if no spiritual light flows into the earthly light, people cannot see whether anything true is true or not. They also cannot see whether anything false is false or not. Spiritual light flowing into earthly light is what allows us to see truth and falsity. Spiritual light comes from the God of heaven, who is the Lord. Therefore this provider of arguments to support all points of view is not a human being or an animal: he is a human animal."

[7] I asked the angels what happens in the long run to people like this: "Can they keep company with the living, given that human life comes from spiritual light and that it is spiritual light that gives us understanding?"

The angels said, "When they are alone, people like this cannot think or say anything. They stand like silent robots,546 as if they were utterly unconscious. They wake up as soon as their ears catch any sound."

"It is people who are inwardly evil who become like this," the angels added. "Spiritual light cannot flow into them from above; they merely bring something spiritual from the world that gives them the ability to come up with supporting arguments."

[8] After that I heard the voice of one of the angels who had assessed the provider of arguments saying to me, "Draw a universal conclusion from what you have heard."

The conclusion I drew was the following: Being able to provide arguments to support whatever you want is not intelligence; intelligence is being able to see that what is true is true and what is false is false and to provide arguments to support that.

Afterward I looked over at the group where the providers of arguments were standing. The crowd around them was shouting, " They are so wise!" To my surprise, a dark cloud encompassed them. There were bats and screech owls flying around in the cloud.

I was told, "The bats and screech owls flying in the cloud are correspondences and manifestations of the thinking of the providers of arguments. In this world those who provide arguments to support falsities until they look like truths are represented in the form of night birds. The eyes of night birds are lit from inside by a faint, deceptive light that allows them to see objects in the dark as if they were in the light. People who provide arguments to support falsities until they look like truths and then believe they are true have a similar but spiritual form of faint, deceptive light. All of them have lower vision; none has higher sight."

The fourth memorable occurrence. Once when I woke up in the early light before dawn, I saw ghostly shapes of various kinds before my eyes. Later on, when it was morning, I saw a faint, deceptive light547 taking various forms [in the sky]. Some of the forms were like sheets of parchment covered in writing that kept folding in on themselves until they looked like shooting stars falling through the air and disappearing. Others were like open books, some of which shone like little moons, while others burned like candles. Some of the books went higher and higher until they passed out of sight, while others fell down to the earth and smashed into powder. On the basis of these visions, I conjectured that there were people standing below these aerial phenomena and that the people were having a dispute over things that were figments of their imagination, but that they nevertheless thought were very important. In the spiritual world, phenomena like this appear in the atmospheres because of the false reasoning of the people standing below them.

Soon the sight of my spirit was opened548 and I noticed a number of spirits whose heads were ringed with laurel leaves and who were wearing togas with a floral pattern—signs that they were spirits who had been famous scholars in our world. Because I was in the spirit, I went over and mingled with the group. I could hear then that they were having a sharp and ardent dispute about innate ideas.549 At issue was whether people are born with innate ideas the way animals are. The spirits who thought that people are not born with innate ideas were turning away from the spirits who thought that people are. Eventually the two groups were squared off against each other like the ranks of two armies about to battle with swords, except that since they had no swords they were battling with sharply pointed words.

[2] At that point an angelic spirit suddenly stood among them and spoke out in a loud voice, saying, "From not too far away I could hear that you are having a blazing dispute with one another about innate ideas and whether people have them the way animals do; but I say to you, People have no innate ideas, and animals have no ideas at all. This means that what you are fighting about is actually nothing or, as the saying goes, goat's wool or beards in a clean-shaven age."550

When the spirits heard this, they were all outraged and shouted, "Throw him out! What he is saying goes against common sense."

When they tried to throw the angelic spirit out, however, they saw him surrounded with a heavenly light. Because he was an angelic spirit, they could not break through the light. They backed up and moved a little farther away from him.

After the light drew back, he said to them, "Why did you get angry? Hear me out first. Put together the reasons I am about to give; then you yourselves draw a conclusion based on them. I foresee that those of you who have outstanding judgment will accede, and the storms that have arisen in your minds will grow calm."

In response, although the spirits still sounded annoyed, they said, "Speak then, and we will hear you out."

[3] Then the angelic spirit rose to speak and said, "You believe that animals have innate ideas. You have drawn this conclusion from the fact that their actions seem to be based on thought. Yet they have no thought at all; and if they have no thought, they cannot be said to have ideas. A sign that thought processes are active is that people behave in one way or another for one reason or another.

"Ponder, then, whether a spider that is weaving a web with the utmost skill is thinking in its tiny head, 'I am going to lay out threads in this sequence and then stabilize them with perpendicular threads so that my web doesn't fall apart when the air shakes it violently. At the outermost ends of threads that run in to the center I will fashion a seat for myself. There I will sense if anything comes in and will hurry to the center. For example, if a fly flies in and gets caught, I will quickly go in and wrap it up and it will become my food.'

"Does a bee think in its tiny head, 'I am going to fly away. I know where the fields are that have flowers in them. There I will extract wax from some flowers and honey from others. With the wax I will build adjacent cells one after the other, laid out in such a way that my colleagues and I can easily get in and out on passageways. Later we will put lots of honey away in the cells so that there will be enough to prevent our death over the coming winter'? Not to mention other miraculous behaviors that not only emulate human political and economic prudence but even outdo it in some respects [see §12:7 above].551

[4] "Again, does a hornet think in its tiny head, 'My colleagues and I will build a little home out of thin paper. We will curve its inside walls into a labyrinth and fashion the heart of it into a gathering place with a way in and a way out so cleverly designed that no other living thing that is not part of our clan will be able to find the way to the center where we are gathered'?

"Again, is a silkworm during its caterpillar phase thinking in its tiny head, 'Now is the time for me to get ready to spin silk. My goal is that when I have finished spinning silk I will fly off, and in the air—a place I have never been able to reach before—I will play with my friends and ensure that I will have offspring'? The same with other caterpillars that crawl along walls and then become chrysalises, pupas, nymphs, and finally butterflies. Does a fly ever have an idea about breeding with another fly, that the breeding should take place here and not over there?

[5] "It is the same for creatures with larger bodies as it is for these insects—for example, when birds and winged creatures of all kinds mate, build nests, lay eggs in them, incubate the eggs, hatch young, give them food, raise them until they fly away, and then drive them from the birds' nests as if they weren't the birds' own offspring, not to mention countless other phenomena. It is the same for animals, snakes, and fish.

"From what I have said, you can all see that the spontaneous actions of living creatures do not flow from any thought, and that ideas come into play only where there is thought. The mistaken concept that animals have ideas comes solely from the false belief that animals think just as people do and only verbalization differentiates them."

[6] After that the angelic spirit looked around. Since he saw that the spirits were still undecided on the issue of whether animals think or not, he continued his speech and said, "I sense that you are still stuck with an imaginary idea about brute animals thinking, since they have actions that are similar to human actions. I will tell you then where animals' actions come from.

"Every animal, every bird, every fish, reptile, and insect has its own earthly, sensory, and physical love. These loves dwell in the brains inside their heads. The spiritual world flows directly through their brains into their physical senses and uses those senses to determine their actions. This is why their bodily senses are far more refined than human senses. This inflow from the spiritual world is what is known as instinct. It is called instinct because it comes about without the help of thought. Instinct is also supplemented by the development of habits.

"The love animals have is a love solely for nutrition and propagation. A determination to act comes from the spiritual world through that love. They have no love for knowledge, intelligence, or wisdom, which are the means of developing higher levels of love in human beings.

[7] "As for people having no innate ideas, this is obvious from the fact that people have no innate thinking. Where there is no thinking, there are no ideas, for thinking and ideas go hand in hand. This conclusion can be reached by studying newborn babies. They are unable to do anything except nurse and breathe. They are able to nurse not from anything innate but from continually sucking while they are in their mother's womb. They are able to breathe because they are alive—breathing is universal to life. Their physical senses are in extreme darkness; by [encountering external] objects they climb out of that obscurity bit by bit. Similarly, their ability to move develops through habitual movement. As they learn to babble words and sound them out, at first without any idea, a dim form of visualization gradually arises. As this becomes clearer, a dim form of imagination develops, and this leads to a dim form of thought. As this state gradually develops, ideas develop, which as I said go hand in hand with thought. Thought grows out of no thought as a result of education. This is how people have ideas. Ideas are formed; they are not innate. From these ideas flow people's words and actions."

On the point that people have nothing else innate except a faculty for knowing, understanding, and becoming wise, as well as a tendency to love not only knowledge, understanding, and wisdom but also their neighbor and their God, see above in the memorable occurrence at §48, and also a memorable occurrence below [§692].

After that I looked around and saw Leibniz and Wolff nearby.552 They were paying close attention to the reasoning put forward by the angelic spirit. Leibniz then acceded and expressed his agreement, but Wolff went away both denying it and affirming it. Wolff's inner judgment was not as well developed as Leibniz's.

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