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amount, meaning that an equal number of stars was created for the world where people with a physical earthly body were going to live."

[2] While we were having that conversation, I noticed a paved road to the north. It was so crowded with spirits that there was scarcely a foot of space between each spirit.

I said to the angels, "I have seen that road before, with spirits on it like the rank and file of armies. I have heard that this is the road traveled by all who are leaving the physical world. The road is covered with that many spirits because tens of thousands of people die every week, and they all migrate to this world after death."377

The angels added, "The road comes to an end in the middle of the world of spirits, where we are now. It stops here because on the side toward the east there are communities that love God and their neighbor; to the left toward the west there are communities that are against those loves; and in front in the south378 there are communities of spirits who are more intelligent than others. This is why those who have recently left the physical world arrive here first. Once they are here, they are at first in their outer selves, the parts of themselves they had been closest to in their prior world. Later on, they come more and more into their inner selves. Then their true quality is investigated. Once this is discovered, the good are brought to their places in heaven, and the evil to their places in hell."

[3] We stopped walking in the middle area where the road for arrivals came to an end. We said, "Let's spend a little time here and talk to some of the new arrivals." We chose twelve of them. Since they had just arrived from the physical world they did not realize they were not still in that world. We asked them what they believed about heaven and hell and life after death.

One of them replied, "Our Sacred Order379 impressed on me the belief that we are going to live after death, and that there is a heaven and a hell. As a result I came to believe that all who live morally go to heaven; and since everyone lives morally, no one goes to hell. Therefore hell is a myth made up by the clergy to prevent us from living evil lives. What difference does it make if I think about God this way or that way? Thought is only foam on the water that bursts and disappears."

Another near the first said, "My belief is that heaven and hell exist. God rules heaven, and the Devil rules hell. Because they are enemies and are opposed to each other, one calls evil what the other calls good. Moral people are phonies who can make evil look good and good look evil. They stand on both sides. What is the difference then whether I am with one Lord or the other, provided he likes me? People enjoy good and evil equally."

[4] A third person at the side of the second said, "What difference does it make to my situation if I believe that heaven and hell exist? Who has come from there and told us?380 If everyone lives after death, why hasn't one person out of that great multitude come back to tell us about it?"

The fourth person, next to the third, said, "I'll tell you why no one has come back to tell us about it. The reason is that when we breathe our souls out, we are in fact dead. Then we become a ghost and we are dissipated, or we are like the breath in someone's mouth, which is only blowing air. How can something like that come back and talk to anyone?"

A fifth person went next and said, "Friends, wait for the day of the Last Judgment. Then all will return to their bodies, and you will see them and talk with them. Each one will tell his or her fate to the next."

[5] The sixth, standing on the other side, started laughing and said, "How could a spirit, which is blown air, come back into a body that has been consumed by worms and into a skeleton that has been burnt in the sun and has crumbled to dust? How can an Egyptian who was turned into a mummy and who has since been mixed by an apothecary into extracts, powders, ointments, and pills381 come back and tell anyone anything? Wait for that last day, if you have the faith; but you are going to wait for ever and ever for nothing."

After that the seventh one said, "If I believed in heaven and hell and life after death, I would also believe that birds and animals are going to live on as well, since some of them are just as moral and rational as we are. People say animals don't live on, so I say people don't either. It is a fair piece of reasoning—the one point follows from the other. What are we except animals?"382

The eighth one, standing behind the seventh one's back, came forward and said, "Believe in heaven if you want, but I don't believe in hell. God is omnipotent. He can save everyone."

[6] The ninth shook the eighth one's hand and said, "God is not only omnipotent but also gracious. He couldn't throw anyone into eternal fire. If any were already in the fire, he would set them free and take them away from there."

The tenth rushed from the line into the middle and said, "I don't believe in hell either. God sent us his Son, and the Son bore the sins of the whole world and purged them. What is the Devil capable of doing against that? Since he can't do anything, what then is hell?"

The eleventh, who was a priest, became very angry when he heard that and said, "The people who are saved are those who have acquired the faith on which Christ's merit has been inscribed. Those whom God has chosen acquire that faith. It is up to the Almighty and his judgment to choose who is worthy. Who could argue against that?"

The twelfth, who was in politics, remained silent. Asked to give the final response, he said, "I will not express from my heart anything about heaven, hell, or the life after death. No one knows anything about them. Nonetheless, provided the priests do not insult anyone, let them preach those things, because commoners are then held mentally bound to laws and to leaders by an invisible chain. Public safety depends on this, does it not?"383

[7] We were stunned to hear their points of view. We said to each other, "Although these people are called Christians, they are neither human nor animal. They are human animals."

Nevertheless, to rouse them from their sleep we said, "Heaven and hell do exist, as does the life after death. You'll be convinced of this by the time we drive away your unawareness about the state of life you are now in. During the first days after they die, all people fail to realize they are not still alive in the same world they were in before. The intervening time is like a period of sleep. When they wake up from it they feel as though they are just where they used to be. The same goes for you today. That's why you just said the same things you thought in your former world."

Then the angels shook away the people's unawareness. The people saw that they were in a different world with other people they did not recognize. They shouted, "Hey, where are we?"

"Not in the physical world anymore," we said. "Now you are in the spiritual world, and we are angels."

As they woke up they said, "If you are angels, then show us heaven."

"Stay here for a little while," we replied. "We'll be back."

When we returned half an hour later we found them waiting for us. "Follow us into heaven," we said.

They came and we went up with them. Because we were with them, the guards opened the door and let them in. To the angels who received newcomers at the threshold, we said, "Examine them."

The examiners turned the people around and noticed that the backs of their heads were badly hollowed out. The examiners said, "Go away from here. You enjoy doing evil, and therefore you have no connection to heaven. In your hearts you have denied the existence of God and have despised religion."

We then told the people, "Don't delay leaving, or you'll be thrown out." They hurried down and went away.

[8] On the way home we discussed why people who enjoy doing evil would have heads that in this world look hollowed out at the back. I gave a reason: We have two brains, one at the back of our head called the cerebellum, and the other in our forehead called the cerebrum. The love in our will resides in the cerebellum. The thought in our intellect resides in our cerebrum. When the thought in our intellect fails to guide the love in our will, the inmost structures of the cerebellum, which are actually heavenly, collapse, causing this hollowness.

The third memorable occurrence. In the spiritual world I once heard the sound of a mill. It was in the northern area. At first I wondered what it was, but then I remembered that a mill and grinding grain mean research in the Word to support a particular doctrinal perspective.

I went to the place where I had heard the sound coming from. As I came near, the sound disappeared. Then I saw an arched roof just above the ground. To enter the place you had to go through a cave, so I went down and in. To my surprise, there was a room there where I saw an old man sitting among books, holding the Word in front of him. He was searching through it for anything that would serve his doctrinal perspective. Little slips of paper were lying all around him on which he had written applicable quotations. In the next room over there were copyists who were collecting the slips of paper and committing what was written on them to a full sheet of paper.

First I asked the man about the books around him. He said, "They all deal with the topic of the faith that justifies us.384 The works from Sweden and Denmark deal with it in depth; the work from Germany in greater depth; the works from Britain in even greater depth; but the pro-foundest of them all come from Holland."385

"They disagree in various other ways," he added, "but on the point that we are justified and saved by faith alone they all agree."

Then he said that he was at that time collecting passages from the Word on the crux of the faith that justifies us. "The crux," he said, "is that God the Father lapsed from an attitude of grace toward the human race because of its wrongdoing. Therefore in order to save the human race there was a divine necessity for someone to provide satisfaction, reconciliation,

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