27. When the spirits of Mercury were with me while I was writing an explanation of the Word in its internal sense, and they could tell what I was writing, they said that what I was writing was extremely gross, almost all the expressions seeming to be material. But I was allowed to reply that people in our world still look upon my writings as so subtle and high-flown, that they are unable to grasp much of them. I went on to say that many people in this world are unaware that there is an inner man which acts upon the outer man and causes him to be alive; but they convince themselves from delusive sense-impressions that the body possesses life. As a result those who are wicked and lacking in faith cast doubt on life after death. They also call the part of a person which survives death not a spirit, but a soul. They dispute what the soul is and where it is located, believing that it must be rejoined to the material body, even though this has been scattered to the four winds, for a person to continue living as a person; and much more of the same sort.
On hearing this the spirits of Mercury asked whether such people could become angels. I was allowed to answer that those who had lived good lives of faith and charity did become angels, being no longer concerned with outward and material affairs, but with inward and spiritual ones. When they reach that state, they enjoy light surpassing that of the spirits from Mercury. To enable them to know that this is so, an angel from the heaven formed from our world, who had lived this sort of life in the world, was allowed to talk with them. More will be said about this later.