Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1641

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1641. Spirits in the next life discuss things with one another just as people do on earth. Those who are good do so with all the close intimacy of friendship and love, as I have heard them do many times. They discuss these things in their own manner of speech, in which they express more in a minute than man can in an hour; for as has been stated, their speech is the universal of all languages - a speaking by means of ideas, the first origins of actual words. Their discussion of subjects is so incisive and penetrating, employing so many lines of reasoning which follow in order one after another and which are absolutely convincing, that man would be dumbfounded if he knew of it. They weave persuasion and affection into their discussion and in this way make it live.

[2] Sometimes in their discussions they also employ visual, and thus living representations. Their discussion, for example, may be about shame, and whether shame is possible without reverential awe. Among men this cannot be discussed except through many reasonings based on proofs and examples; and even then it remains in doubt. But with spirits the matter is resolved within a minute by considering the states of the feeling of shame, varied in their sequence, and also the states of reverential awe, and in this way perceiving the agreements and the disagreements, while at the same time seeing these in the representatives woven into the discussion, from which in an instant they perceive the conclusion thus flowing of itself from differences of opinion that are reconciled in this fashion. All other questions are resolved in a similar way. Souls enter into this ability immediately after death, at which time good spirits love nothing more than teaching newcomers and the uninformed.

[3] Spirits themselves do not realize that they speak to one another in so superior a kind of speaking, and that they are furnished with so excellent a gift, unless they are led by the Lord to reflect on the matter, for that speech comes to them naturally and is now instinctive. The situation is like that of a person whose mind is intent on the meaning of things and not on the words he uses and the way he speaks, in that unless he sometimes stops to reflect he is not aware of what kind of speech he is using.

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