irritation up their noses or like an awl piercing their ears. They become disturbed and pained by it, so they order anyone voicing opposition to leave, and if you resist, they throw you out."

[2] So I asked him, "Why don't you believe what they believe?"

He replied that after leaving the world, people are unable to believe anything else except the convictions they have already adopted. These beliefs remain entrenched in people and cannot be pulled out—especially not personal convictions about God. In the heavens everyone's location depends on his or her idea of God.

I also asked what evidence he had used to convince himself that the Father and the Son were two. He said, "It is the fact that in the Word the Son prays to the Father not only before suffering on the cross but even during it; and also that he humbles himself before his Father. How then can they be one like a soul and a body are one in us? Do we pretend to address a prayer to someone else or pretend to humble ourselves to someone else when we are actually that other person? No one does that—certainly not the Son of God. For another thing, in my day the entire Christian church had split the Divinity into persons, each person being one entity on its own. 'Person' is defined as something that exists and subsists on its own."271

[3] When I heard that I replied, "I gather from what you said that you are totally ignorant of how God the Father and the Son are one. Because you don't know that, you have convinced yourself of false beliefs that the church still has about God.

"Surely you know that when the Lord was in the world he had a soul like every other human being. Where would his soul have come from but God the Father? That God the Father is its origin is abundantly clear in the Word of the Gospel writers. What then is that entity called the Son except a human manifestation conceived by the divine nature of the Father and given birth to by the Virgin Mary?

"A mother cannot conceive a soul. That idea completely contradicts the divine design that governs the birth of every human being. Neither could God the Father have given a soul from himself and then withdrawn, the way every father in the world does. God is his own divine essence, an essence that is single and undivided; and since it is undivided it is God himself. This is why the Lord says that the Father and he are one, and that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, as well as other things like that.

"The people who drafted the Athanasian Creed had a distant glimpse of this. Even after splitting God into three persons they wrote that in Christ, God and a human being, that is, the divine nature and the human nature, are not two; they are one like the soul and the body in one human being.

[4] "The Lord's praying to the Father while in the world as if the Father were someone else and humbling himself before the Father as if the Father were someone else followed the unchangeable divine design established from the time of creation, which everyone has to follow in order to form a partnership with God. That design is that as we forge our connection with God by living according to the laws of the divine design, which are God's commandments, God forges his connection with us and turns us from earthly people into spiritual people.

"The Lord united himself to his Father and God the Father united himself to the Lord in the same way. When the Lord was an infant, he was like an infant. When he was a child, he was like a child. We read that he advanced in wisdom and grace, and later on asked the Father to glorify his name, meaning his human nature. (To glorify is to make divine through union with God himself.) When the Lord prayed to the Father, then, he was clearly in a state of being emptied out, which was his state of progress toward union.

[5] "That same design has been built into every one of us from creation. Of course, it all depends on how we prepare our intellect with truths from the Word and adapt it to receive faith from God, and how we prepare our will with acts of goodwill and adjust it to receive love from God. In a similar way, depending on how jewelers cut a diamond they can adapt it to receive and transmit the brilliance of the light, and so on.

"We prepare ourselves to receive God and to forge a partnership with him by following the divine design in our lives. The laws of that design are all God's commandments. In the case of the Lord, he fulfilled all these laws down to the finest details. By so doing he made himself a vessel for divinity in all its fullness. This is why Paul says that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Jesus Christ, and why the Lord himself says that all things belonging to the Father are his.

[6] "Furthermore, we must keep in mind that only the Lord is actually active in us. On our own we are completely passive. Thanks to life inflowing from the Lord we too can be active. Because of the constant inflow from the Lord it seems to us as though we are active on our own.

Because of this inflow we have free choice, which is given to us so we can prepare ourselves to receive the Lord and forge a partnership with him. Forging a partnership cannot happen unless that partnership is reciprocal. It becomes reciprocal when we act with our own freedom, and yet on the basis of faith we attribute all our action to the Lord."

[7] Next I asked whether he, like his colleagues, confessed that there is one God. He replied that he did. Then I said, "I am afraid, though, that the confession of your heart is that there is no God. What the mouth says emanates from what the mind thinks, does it not? The confession of your lips that there is one God will therefore tend to drive out of your mind the thought that there are three, and in turn your mind's thought will tend to drive away from your lips the confession that there is one. Surely this will eventually culminate in denial of God. The position that there is no God would eliminate the whole discrepancy between your mind and your lips. About God, then, your mind will surely conclude that nature is God. About the Lord, it will conclude that his soul was either from his mother or from Joseph. Yet all the angels in heaven turn away from these two conclusions as something horrible and detestable."

After I said that, the spirit was sent off into the great pit referred to in Revelation 9:2-3 where the dragon's angels debate the mysteries of their faith.

[8] The next day when I looked out at the spot, in place of the tents I saw two statues that looked like human beings. They were made out of dust from the ground, which as I say was a mixture of sulfur, iron, and clay. One statue looked as though it had a scepter in its left hand, a crown on its head, and a book in its right hand, as well as a bodice held in place by a diagonal sash covered with gems, and a robe with a train that flowed out behind it toward the other statue. These features, however, had been put on the statue through someone's power to project images.

Then I heard a voice there from some follower of the dragon: "This statue portrays our faith as a queen. The statue behind it portrays goodwill as faith's maidservant."

The other statue was made out of the same mixture of different types of dust. It was placed just beyond the edge of the robe flowing down off the queen's back. The second statue held a sheet of paper in its hand with writing on it that said, "Warning: don't come too close or touch the robe."

Then suddenly a rain shower fell from heaven, drenching each statue. They began to fizz because they were made out of that mixture of sulfur, iron, and clay. (A mixture of those substances in powdered form tends to effervesce when water is added to it.)272 An internal fire then melted them into piles that stood thereafter like burial mounds on that piece of ground.

The second memorable occurrence. In our earthly world we have two types of thought, inner thought and outer thought, and because of that we have two modes of verbal communication. We are able to talk on the basis of both our inner and outer thought at the same time, and we are able to talk on the basis of our outer thought separate from our inner thought. In fact, we can say the opposite of what we think inside, which is something we do to put on appearances, insincerely agree with people, and play the hypocrite.

In the spiritual world, though, our thought process is single, not dual. There we say what we think. If we do not, we emit a horrible sound that hurts people's ears. Nevertheless we have the option of being silent and not publicizing the thoughts in our mind. So when hypocrites come among the wise they either leave right away or throw themselves into a corner of the room, make themselves inconspicuous, and sit in silence.

[2] Once there was a large conference in the world of spirits. This was the very topic they were discussing with each other. The participants were saying that it is a hardship for spirits who have had unacceptable thoughts about God and the Lord not to be able to say what they think when they come into the company of the good.

In the center of the participants there was a group of Protestants, many of them clergy, and next to them a group of Roman Catholics including monks.273 Both the Protestants and the Catholics were saying at first that it is not hard. "Why not say what we think?" they maintained. "If we happen not to think the right things, we can always close our mouths and keep quiet."

The clergy said, "Who doesn't have the right thoughts about God and the Lord?"

So some participants in the conference said to each other, "Let's test these Protestants and Catholics!"

Some [in the central groups] were convinced that there is a trinity of persons in God. The participants told them to say and think "One God." They were unable to. They twisted and puckered their lips into all sorts of shapes but they still could not articulate the sound of any words but those in harmony with their thoughts and mental images, which were of three persons and therefore three gods.

[3] Some [in the central groups] were convinced that faith should be separate from goodwill. They were told to say the name "Jesus." They could not, although they could all say "Christ" and also "God the Father." [The participants] were amazed at this and wanted to know why. The reason, they discovered, was that those people had prayed to God the Father for the sake of the Son, but had not prayed to Jesus as their Savior, and "Jesus" means Savior.

[4] Then they were told to think about the Lord's human nature and say "divine-human." No Protestant clergy person who was there could do it, but some Protestant lay people could. At that point they gave the discussion some structure.

1. The following passages from the Gospels were read out loud to [the Protestant clergy]: "The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son" (John 3:35). The Father has given the Son power over all flesh (John 17:2). "All things have been handed to me by the Father" (Matthew 11:27). "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Matthew 28:18). They were told, "On the basis of these passages, hold it in your mind that Christ in both his divine nature and his human nature is the God of heaven and earth. Then say 'divine-human.'" They still could not say it. They reported that on the basis of those passages they were able to hold some thoughts in their minds about it, but they could not hold any acknowledgment, so they were unable to say it.

[5] 2. Then Luke 1 verses 32, 34, and 35 were read to them, showing that the Lord's human manifestation was the Son of Jehovah God. It was pointed out that in those passages he is called "the Son of the Highest" and everywhere else he is called "the Son of God," and also "the only begotten One." The participants asked [the Protestant clergy] to hold this in their thoughts and also to consider that an only begotten Son of God born in the world could not possibly be anything other than God, just as the Father is God, and then say "divine-human."

"We can't," they said. "Our spiritual thinking, which goes on very deep inside us, does not allow incompatible ideas access to the thought processes located near speech."

They said they were realizing that they could not now divide their thinking the way they had been able to in the physical world.

[6] 3. Then the Lord's words to Philip were read to them: "Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father.' And the Lord said, 'Those who see me see the Father. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?'" (John 14:8—11). Other passages that say that the Father and the Son are one were also read, such as John 10:30. [The Protestant clergy] were told to hold this in their thinking and say "divine-human." Since that thought was not rooted in any acknowledgment that even in his human manifestation the Lord is God, they contorted and twisted their lips to the point of exasperation and tried to force their mouth to enunciate the words, but they did not have the power; because all who are in the spiritual world find that the words they speak match the ideas that arise from the things they have acknowledged. If those ideas do not exist, the words are impossible, because speech is ideas turned into words.

[7] 4. Then the following passage was read to [the Protestant clergy] from teachings that are accepted in the entire Christian world: "The divine nature and the human nature in the Lord are not two but one. In fact, they are one person, united like the soul and the body in one human being." This is part of the belief that was stated in the Athanasian Creed and ratified by councils. They were told, "From this passage you had every opportunity to form and acknowledge an idea that the Lord's human nature is divine because his soul is divine, for this is part of the church teachings you acknowledged in the world. Furthermore, the soul is the very essence of a person and the body is the person's form, and essence and form are one, like underlying reality and manifestation, or like the cause that produces an effect and the effect produced."

[The Protestant clergy] held on to that idea and tried on that basis to say "divine-human," but they could not. Their inner idea of the Lord's human nature expelled and destroyed this new "supplemental" idea, as they were calling it.

[8] 5. There was a further reading to them from John: "The Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh" (John 1:1, 14). And this: "Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20). Also a passage from Paul: "All the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Christ Jesus" (Colossians 2:9).

They were told to think like this, meaning to think that God who was the Word became human, that he is the true God, and that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in him. This they did, but only in their outer thought. A resistance in their inner thought made it impossible for them to say "divine-human." They openly stated that "divine-human" was an idea they could not have. "God is God," they said, "and human is human. God is a spirit, and a spirit to our thinking is no different from wind or ether."

[9] 6. Finally they were asked, "Don't you know that the Lord said, 'Live in me and I [shall live] in you. Those who live in me and I in them bear much fruit, because without me you cannot do anything' (John 15:4, 5)?"

Because some of them were Anglican clergy, a passage stated at their Holy Communion was read to them: "For when we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ and drink the blood, then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us."274 They were told, "If you now think that this situation could not occur unless the Lord's human manifestation was divine, then say 'divine-human' from this acknowledgment in your thought."

They still could not say it. The idea had been too deeply impressed on them that what was divine could not be human and what was human could not be divine, and so too had the idea that his divine nature came from the divinity of the eternally begotten Son, and that his human nature was just like anyone else's.

They were asked, "How can you think that way? Can a rational mind really think that some Son was born from God from eternity?"

[10] 7. Next the participants focused on the Lutheran Protestants. They said to them that the Augsburg Confession and Luther himself taught the following:275

The Son of God and the Son of Humankind are one person in Christ. Even his human manifestation is omnipotent and omnipresent. It sits at the right hand of God the Father and rules all things in the heavens and on earth, fills all things, is with us, and dwells and is at work in us. His human manifestation deserves no different adoration, because through his human manifestation, which is perceptible, we adore the Divinity that is not perceptible. In Christ, God is human, and a human is God.

To this they replied, "Is that so?" They looked around. Soon they said, "We didn't know these things before, so we can't say 'divine-human.'"

Nevertheless first one, then another, said, "We read that text and we even wrote some of it, but still when we thought about it they were only words. We did not have the inner idea that goes with them."

[11] 8. Finally the participants turned to focus on the Catholics and said, "Perhaps you are able to pronounce 'divine-human,' since you believe that in your Eucharist Christ is fully present in the bread and wine, in each and every part of them. You adore Christ as the most holy God when you display and convey the host. Since you call Mary 'the Bearer of God' or 'the one who gave birth to God,' you therefore acknowledge that she bore God, that is, the Divine-Human Being."

They then tried to say it, but they could not. What came to their minds was a physical idea of Christ's body and blood, as well as the belief that his humanity is separable from his divinity, and is actually separated in the case of the pope, to whom only Christ's human power, not his divine power, had been transferred.

Then a monk stood up and said that he could think of the Holy Virgin Mary and also the saint of his monastery as divine-human.

Another monk came forward and said, "With the idea I have of the holy pope—an idea I have come to cherish—I can more easily speak of the holy pope than of Christ as divine-human."

Some other Catholics, however, pulled him back and said, "Shame on you!"

[12] After this heaven seemed to open and tongues like little flames seemed to come down and flow into some people.276 They began praising the Lord's divine humanity and saying, "Remove the idea of three gods. Believe that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in the Lord. Believe that the Father and he are one as the soul and the body are one. Believe that God is a human being, not wind or ether. Then you will be connected to heaven, and from the Lord you will be able to name Jesus and say 'divine-human.'"

The third memorable occurrence. Once I woke up just after first light. I went out into the garden in front of my house and watched the sun rising in its splendor. There was a halo around it, at first very subtle, but later on more definite, shining as though it was made of gold. Beneath the sun's rim I saw a cloud rising up. Mirroring the flame of the sun, it gleamed like a ruby.

At that point I fell into a meditation based on the myths of the most ancients, reflecting on how they pictured Aurora, the Dawn, as having silver wings and carrying gold in her mouth.277 Mentally taking great pleasure in these sights, I came into my spirit.

I heard some spirits in a discussion saying, "I would love an opportunity to talk to that innovator who has tossed an apple of discord278 among the leaders of the church. Many lay people have rushed to that apple, picked it up, and set it before our eyes."

The "apple" they meant was the little volume titled Survey of Teachings for the New Church.279

"It is something genuinely schismatic that no one has thought of before," they said.

I heard one of them cry out, "Schismatic? It's heretical!"

Some by his side retorted, "Be quiet! It isn't heretical. It cites many statements from the Word that the strangers in our midst (meaning our lay people) pay attention to and support."

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