Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 6053

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No one can have any knowledge at all or even be able to think about the influx of the soul into the body, or about the interaction of them, unless he knows what the soul is and also something about the nature of the soul. If nothing is known about what the soul is, nothing at all can be said about its inflow and interaction; for how can anyone think about two parts communicating with each other when there is complete lack of knowledge about the nature of one of them? The lack of knowledge, particularly in the learned world, about the whole nature of the soul may be seen from the fact that some people think it is something ethereal, others something flame-like or fiery, others something existing purely on the level of thought, others a general life-force, and others some natural force. Still greater lack of knowledge about what the soul may be is demonstrated by the varying places in the body to which people assign it. Some assign it to the heart, others to the brain - some to its fibres, others to the corpora striata, others to its ventricles, and others to its tiny glands. Others assign it to every part of the body, but these people's conception is of a vitality like that common to everything that has life in it. From this it is evident that people know nothing at all about the soul. This is the reason why the ideas they have peddled around regarding the soul are all guesswork. And since for this reason they cannot have any idea of what the soul is, very many cannot do other than suppose that it is no more than vitality that is dissipated when the body dies. This now explains why the learned have less belief than the simple in a life after death; and because they have no belief in it they cannot have any belief in anything belonging to that life, that is, in the celestial and spiritual realities constituting faith and love. This is also evident from the Lord's words in Matthew,

You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to young children. Matt 11:15.

And again,

Those who see do not see, and those who hear do not hear, nor do they understand. Matt 13:13.

For the simple do not think at all about the soul in the way that the learned do but believe that they will be alive after death. Concealed within their simple faith, though they are not conscious of it, is the belief that they will live there as people, seeing the angels, talking to them, and being filled with joy.

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