Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 7074

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7074. Some of the spirits belonging to the planet Mercury once came to me; they had been sent by others to listen to what was going on where I was. One of the spirits who belonged to our own planet told them to tell their own people that they should speak nothing but the truth and when answering questioners should refrain from putting contrary ideas in their way, as they are accustomed to do; for if any of the spirits from our planet were to act in that way he would be thrashed for it. But at this point the distant company from which those spirits had been sent out replied that if such had to be thrashed all of them would have to be thrashed since frequent practice left them unable to act in any other way. They said that they also acted in that way when they talked to people on their own planet. But when they did so they had no intention to mislead, only to instill a desire to know; for when they put contrary ideas in the way and in a certain manner make the subject obscure, a person's curiosity is aroused, and as a result of his eagerness to look into the subject his memory is enriched.

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