That man’s Own is nothing but evil and falsity has been made evident to me from the fact that whatever spirits have at any time said from themselves has been so evil and false that whenever it was made known to me that they spoke from themselves I at once knew that it was false, even though while speaking they were themselves so thoroughly persuaded of the truth of what they said as to have no doubt about it.
The case is the same with men who speak from themselves.
And in the same way, whenever any persons have begun to reason concerning the things of spiritual and celestial life, or those of faith, I could perceive that they doubted, and even denied, for to reason concerning faith is to doubt and deny. And as it is all from self or their Own, they sink into mere falsities, consequently into an abyss of thick darkness, that is, of falsities, and
When they are in this abyss the smallest objection prevails over a thousand truths, just as a minute particle of dust in contact with the pupil of the eye shuts out the universe and everything it contains.
Of such persons the Lord says in Isaiah:
Woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes, and intelligent before their own faces (Isa. 5:21).
Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath turned thee away, and thou hast said in thine heart, I, and none else besides me; and evil shall come upon thee, thou shalt not know from whence it riseth, and mischief shall fall upon thee, which thou shalt not be able to expiate, and vastation shall come upon thee suddenly, of which thou art not aware (Isa. 47:10-11).
Every man is made stupid by knowledge [scientia], every founder is confounded by the graven image, for his molten image is falsehood, neither is there breath in them (Jer. 51:17).
A “graven image” is the falsity, and a “molten image” the evil, of man’s Own.