… it is the inner level from which the outer level arises and that the outer level therefore derives its essence from the inner level …
When our inner nature is essentially hellish … and our outer nature seems spiritual in its form, though … the outer derives its essence from the inner, you may ask where that essence is hiding in the outer. It is not in our gestures, our tone of voice, our language, or our expression. However, it is still hidden in all four of these. What is hidden shows through them very clearly in the spiritual world, because when we move from this physical world into the spiritual world, which happens when we die, then we leave behind those outward appearances along with our bodies, but keep the inner qualities that were hidden away in our spirits. Then if that inner nature was hellish, we look like demons just as we were in spirit while we were living in this world. Surely everyone realizes that we all leave those outward things behind along with our bodies and become engaged with deeper things when we become spirits.
… in the spiritual world there is a sharing of feelings and consequent thoughts, which means that none of us can say anything except what we are actually thinking. Also, our faces change there and become images of our feelings, so others can see from our faces what we are really like. Hypocrites are sometimes allowed to say what they are not thinking, but their tone of voice sounds discordant because of their deeper thoughts, and they can be recognized by this discord. So we can tell that the inner nature is hidden within the tone, the language, the expression, and the gestures of the outer, and that while people in the physical world are not sensitive to this, it is obvious to angels in the spiritual world.
We can see from this that as long as we are living in this physical world, we can be let into wisdom about spiritual matters and even into a love for them, and that this does and can happen both to people who are completely earthly-minded as well as to people who are spiritual. The difference is, though, that the latter are reformed when this happens, while the former are not. It may seem as though they love wisdom, but they love it only the way an adulterer loves a fine woman–like a prostitute. He talks soothingly to her and gives her beautiful clothes, but privately he is thinking, “She is nothing but a worthless whore. I will get her to believe that I love her, because she takes my fancy, but if she does not take to me, then I will discard her.” The inner self is the adulterer, and the outer self is the woman.
If we then backslide from wisdom and love and go against them, we profane what is holy. There are many kinds of profanation of what is holy … This is the worst of all, though, because people who commit this kind of profanation are no longer human after death. They are alive, but they are trapped in their wild hallucinations. ….
In this world, people do not know that this is what happens after death to individuals who commit profanation; and they do not know this because they do not understand the reason for it. The real reason is that if we acknowledge divine things and believe them at first and then backslide and deny them, we mix what is holy with what is profane; and once they have been mixed together, the only way they can be separated results in complete destruction.
- (a) Everything we willingly think and say and do becomes part of us and remains so, whether it is good or evil.
- (b) The Lord is constantly using his divine providence to make provisions and arrangements so that what is evil will be by itself and what is good by itself, and so that they can be kept separate.
- (c) However, this cannot be accomplished if we first acknowledge the truths that faith discloses and live by them and afterwards backslide and deny them.
- (d) Then we mingle what is good and what is evil so completely that they cannot be separated.
- (e) Since what is good and what is evil need to be separated in each one of us, and since they cannot be separated in people like this, everything truly human about them is destroyed.