Immanuel Kant - Describes Swedenborg's communication with spirits
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
A description of the experience
Immanuel Kant - Dreams of a spirit seer
[Swedenborg] distinguishes in man the outer and the inner memory.
The former he has as a person belonging to the visible world. On this fact also the distinction between the outer and inner man is founded; his own privilege consists in seeing himself already in this life as a person in the company of spirits, and in being recognised by them as man.
In this inner memory everything is preserved which has disappeared out of the outer,—nothing of all the perceptions of a man is ever lost.
After death the remembrance of everything that ever entered his soul, also of what was formerly hidden to himself, forms the complete book of his life.
The presence of spirits, it is true, affects only his inner sense. But this makes them appear to him as being outside of himself, and in the form of the human figure.
The language of spirits is an immediate communication of ideas.
A spirit reads in the [perceptions] of another spirit the ideas which are contained in the inner memory with clearness. Thus the spirits see in Swedenborg the perceptions which he has from this world, with such clearness, that they deceive themselves, and often imagine they perceive immediately those things which it is impossible for them to see; for no spirit has the least sensation from the corporeal world.
Also, through communication with the souls of other living men, they can receive no idea of this world, because the interior of such men is not opened, and contains only ideas entirely obscure.
For this reason Swedenborg is the very oracle of the spirits, who are just as curious to view in him the present state of the world, as he is curious to observe in their perceptions, as in a mirror, the wonders of the spirit-world.
Although these spirits are also in the closest conjunction with the souls of all other men, operating upon them and being operated upon by them, they yet know this as little as men know it; so entirely obscure is that interior sense which belongs to the spiritual personality of men.