Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2129

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2129. There are also other types of tumults, or rather of conflicts, which also convey the idea of a Last Judgement and by which communities harmfully joined together as regards their interiors are dissolved. Concerning them let the following be mentioned: Such spirits are driven into a condition in which they do not think in their normal way as a community, that is, one with another, but each one independently. As a result of their thinking, each at variance with the others, and of each muttering something different from the rest, an uproar is produced which sounds like that of many waters; and conflict with one another takes place such as defies description which arises out of the mishmash of opinions concerning firmly established truths, which are at the time the substance of their thoughts and speech. That mishmash is such as may be called spiritual chaos.

[2] The sound of these conflicting and confused uproarings was threefold. The first flowed in around the head, and I was told it was that of thoughts. The second flowed in towards the left temple. I was told that this was a conflict of reasonings about certain truths in which they were unwilling to pin their faith. The third flowed in from above over on the right. It was rasping though less confused, a rasping sound directed first this way, then that. I was told that this was the product of truths clashing which were being turned this way and that by means of reasonings. While these conflicts were going on there were other spirits who spoke to me, telling me in speech that rose clearly above all that noise the meaning of every single thing.

[3] The matters which they reasoned about were chiefly these - whether the statement that the twelve apostles were going to sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel was to be understood literally, and also whether other people who have endured persecution and affliction were to be allowed into heaven. Each one reasoned in accordance with what had taken his fancy during his lifetime. Some of them however who had been brought back into associations with one another and into order were then informed that those descriptions were to be understood in a completely different way, that is to say, that 'apostles' is not used to mean apostles, nor 'thrones' to mean thrones, nor 'tribes' tribes, nor indeed is 'twelve' used to mean twelve. Instead apostles, thrones, tribes, and also twelve, meant the first and foremost matters of faith, 2089. They also said that such matters of faith are the starting- point and the criteria from which everyone is judged. And over and above all this they were shown that the apostles have no power to judge anyone at all, and that all judgement is the Lord's alone.

[4] As regards the second point which they reasoned about, this should not be taken to mean that only those who have endured persecution and affliction will enter heaven, but that the rich no less than the poor will do so, those who have held important positions no less than those whose position has been humble. Furthermore the Lord takes pity on all, especially on people who have endured spiritual afflictions and temptations, which are persecutions by the evil, thus on those who acknowledge that of themselves they are wretched and who believe that it is through the Lord's mercy alone they are saved.

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